The Bradfield Rural Links bus network was launched on the 25th January 2002
to meet the community's need, and is funded through the Rural Bus Challenge
Fund, bringing many benefits to residents and visitors, such as:
Improved access to employment, health, shopping, leisure facilities and for social visiting.
Improved access to the countryside for visitors.
Reductions in car usage and reliance.
Environmental benefits and reduction in congestion in and beyond Hillsborough Interchange.
Bradfield, along with a number of other smaller settlements, is situated in a rural area to the north west of Sheffield. Many of those living in this locality found themselves isolated and socially excluded from facilities because of the rugged rural nature of their location (partially based in the Peak District National Park) and the fact that bus services to facilities were limited.
The Bradfield Rural Links project has a strong marketing image. All promotional material (including vehicle livery, leaflets, and posters) on this network are co-ordinated. A strong brand identity has been developed that is recognised and associated closely with the communities that it serves. The fares for the services have been restructured to provide attractive and affordable options.
These include simple zonal fares, return fares, cross-boundary ticketing, family
tickets and a range of concessionary fares.
At the start of the project we aimed to increase patronage by 10% within the first year and 5% every year thereafter, however our monitoring has demonstrated a dramatic increase of 159%, exceeding our 10yr target for the network. This is because the network has been designed to meet user needs, rather than simply imposed.
Solar powered bus shelters - Solar powered lighting of bus shelters in rural areas offers a significant opportunity to increase safety and security at often isolated locations in a sustainable way and without the prohibitive expense of laying lengthy electrical connections to the nearest mains supply. The Bradfield Rural Links project is now benefiting from the use of one trial solar powered shelter in Low Bradfield. Two further shelters are about to be upgraded following the trial success.
Hail'n'Ride - Three services run a 'Hail'n'Ride' policy, which means that between designated points on the route the bus can stop to pick-up passengers when hailed.
The 'H' Pass - A ticket designed for the Bradfield Rural Links network, where residents with concessionary passes can interchange with all buses and trams at Hillsborough Interchange without paying a second fare.
Passenger Charter - This was the first service in South Yorkshire to have a Passenger Charter, which consists of a series of promises made by the Transport Executive and Yorkshire Terrier regarding the quality of the service and infrastructure provided. If the service does not meet the expectations set out in the Charter, free travel vouchers are available. The use of passenger charters is now being incorporated into Doncaster and south Rotherham rural services.