TRAVELMASTER, the organisation responsible for setting and delivering multi-operator ticketing within South Yorkshire has confirmed that it will be putting planned fare increases, which would have seen fares increase by 5% on Monday 7th June, on hold. The decision follows concerns around the timing of the planned changes, but the company has re-iterated that the factors that initially prompted the decision to raise prices do remain and will need to be worked through in the future.

Matt Smallwood, managing director of TravelMaster, announcing the decision today said:

“TravelMaster has consistently delivered some of the UK’s best value and most flexible multi-operator ticket prices in the country and we remain committed to finding ways to sustainably provide customers with the best value travel possible.

Following discussions with its members, and correspondence from Mayor Dan Jarvis and regional leaders, TravelMaster’s Board has today agreed to defer pricing changes and retain our current prices at this time. I have now cancelled the price changes due to take place on Monday meaning customers will continue to benefit from a real term cut in the cost of their travel.

We fully understand the concerns raised around the timing of our announced increases; however, it is important to recognise that taxpayer emergency support for public transport will not continue indefinitely. The factors that influenced our original decision do remain and at some point the higher operating costs driven by the pandemic and other factors will need to be paid for to protect the quality of services, deliver critical investment and help secure the future of the public transport network.

Those factors, such as worsening road congestion and a decade of fuel duty freezes for motorists, have led directly to millions of fewer bus and rail journeys, as well as growing levels of pollution in our region and elsewhere. This is why TravelMaster continues to support a wider discussion with the Mayor, and other stakeholders, on the measures we can take together to reduce public transport operating costs, and to prioritise buses, trains and trams over private cars, to help support continued low fares for the region’s passengers”.