£30m Bus Rapid Transit North launches with X1 Steel Link service

6 September 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

Bus Rapid Transit North scheme came to fruition on Sunday 04 September with the launch the X1 Steel Link service between Rotherham and Sheffield.

Bus Rapid Transit North launches with X1 Steel Link service

From left to right: Chris Roberts (Principal Public Transport Manager) SYPTE, Tom Finnegan-Smith (SCC Head of Strategic Transport and Infrastructure), Councillor Denise LELLOTT (RMBC Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy), Alan Riggall (First South Yorkshire Head of Commercial).

Operated by First Bus, the X1 Steel Link service came into operation on the recently completed £29.8 million Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) North scheme.

Bus Rapid Transit X1 Steel Link intended to improve congestion

The X1 Steel Link will run on a new BRT ‘Tinsley Link’ road built over the River Don and under Tinsley Viaduct, to provide a more direct route for buses and improve congestion in the area.

Local bus operator, First Bus, today revealed a range of benefits customers can expect from its new X1 Steel Link:

  • The service will operate up to every ten minutes, providing more buses, linking Maltby, Rotherham, Meadowhall and Sheffield
  • Customers can benefit from great value fares – an introductory promotion is available which could save customers 30% with day tickets from just £4 and weekly tickets £14.
  • Customers can purchase tickets on board, on-line or through the First Bus MTicket app which enables passengers to show drivers their bus tickets via their mobile phones.
  • 18 new high spec vehicles will operate on the route, all fitted with leather seats, USB charging points and dedicated and eye catching bespoke branding.
  • Customers will also shortly benefit from the introduction of free on board wi-fi.
  • The new vehicles are Department for Transport approved ‘low carbon certified’ and fitted with the latest Euro VI engines, which produce 95% less oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions which will help improve air quality across the route.

South Yorkshire’s BRT North scheme is delivered in partnership by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield City Council and First South Yorkshire, and is part financed by £15.8 million from the Department for Transport, and the European Union’s Regional Development Fund.


Commenting on the inaugural service, First South Yorkshire Head of Commercial, Alan Riggall, said: “First Bus has a great track record of working in partnership to develop successful initiatives to grow bus use.  We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to put in place a quality, reliable and frequent service offering great value for money.  Given the range of benefits that our Steel Link offers, including great value fares, I’m sure we will encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport, helping relieve congestion and improve the environment.  We’re looking forward to welcoming passengers on board from Sunday.”

Chris Roberts, SYPTE (South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive) Principle Public Transport Manager, added: “Together with project partners, we are delighted to introduce the X1 Steel Link as part of South Yorkshire’s innovative BRT North scheme. Passengers on the new service can expect reliable, high quality, low emission connections between Rotherham and Sheffield, and journey benefits from bus priority traffic control and purpose built bus stops with real-time information along the new route.” 

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