TRANSPORT chiefs in South Yorkshire have met with local
businesses, agencies and partner organisations to celebrate the
achievements of a three-year project which has helped thousands of
people to access jobs, education and training.
The Access to Opportunities (A2O) project, managed by South
Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), has worked with
employers since 2009 to help them to recruit and retain staff
through providing dedicated travel advice, enhanced bus services
and access to the discounted loan of motor scooters.
The project has been financially supported by the European
Union, attracting £2.38 million of investment from the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Over its three-year delivery, the
project has seen an estimated 1.3 million passenger journeys made
on enhanced sections of public transport services, provided over
7,000 individuals with travel advice and support, and produced
4,000 personal journey plans.
Jenny Dewsnap, Work Programme Contract Manager at North
Doncaster Development Trust (NDDT), used A2O to reduce real and
perceived geographical, information and cost barriers associated
with getting to work for her clients.
She said, "NDDT has accessed support for our customers on our
back to work programmes over the last three years. A2O staff have
assisted us in making provision for quite literally hundreds of
people to get back to work.
"For anyone going into a new job it can be a daunting
experience, but for the long term unemployed this is very often
much worse and their fears can be a real barrier to them. A2O
allows us to provide information on bus routes, times and costs and
eliminates the transport problems, taking away one of their worries
Although A2O's primary activity is reaching its conclusion, last
week SYPTE, with Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield
districts, was awarded £24.6 million to continue to help boost the
local economy and get people back to work.
The investment, from the Government's 'Local Sustainable
Transport Fund' (LSTF), will allow SYPTE to help encourage
sustainable commuting and reduce congestion, as well as help
businesses to reach more potential employees in South
Building on a £5 million LSTF allocation that was awarded to
SYPTE last June, the funding will go towards new cycle and bus
routes, travel information and making journey times more
SYPTE Director General, David Brown, said: "The services offered
by the Access to Opportunities project have been vital for so many
people who would struggle without them, and so highlight an ongoing
commitment to addressing customer needs and providing suitable
"We welcome this crucial Government funding, which will help us
to continue to support economic growth, help get people back to
work, and reduce carbon emissions.
"Based on a combination of genuine local need and a high
potential for carbon-friendly economic growth, we have identified
four key corridors in Barnsley, Don Valley, Doncaster and the
Dearne Valley which will greatly benefit from this level of
investment. Between them they include around 10,200 businesses and
"We are confident that this funding will enable a step change in
our ability to help people access jobs in a sustainable way and
help employers reach the right people."
For more information about South Yorkshire's Local Transport
Plan visit sypte.co.uk