South Yorkshire PCC Sees Danger in Government Transport Funding Decision

The government has announced that the South Yorkshire mayor’s bid for funding to improve transport in the county has been turned down.

While West Yorkshire will receive £70m from a bid of £169m and York £17m from an ask of £48m, South Yorkshire, which had bid for £474m, will receive nothing at all.

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings said: “This decision by central government to turn down the bid from South Yorkshire is both inexplicable and potentially dangerous.

“It is inexplicable because improving transport across the county is a key component for economic development and levelling up. To give nothing at all gives the lie to any claim that levelling up is a serious aim of government. It clearly isn’t.

“It is also potentially dangerous. South Yorkshire is not a wealthy area and if people cannot get to work because transport is so poor or expensive or non-existent that is a disaster.

“I am especially concerned for the young. Poverty does not make people criminal, but if young people are denied the possibility of accessing training or work because transport is inadequate, expensive or not there at all, some will be tempted by the chance of ‘easy money’ which the criminal gangs hand out.

“This decision has implications that go beyond transport itself. They are handing the gangs more opportunities to draw people into their networks of drug dealing.

“I urge the government to think again.”