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South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
Company typePassenger Transport Executive
IndustryPublic transport
Founded1 April 1974
(Local Government Act 1972)
Defunct1 April 2023
(Transport Act 1985)
FateDissolved – functions transferred to SYMCA
HeadquartersBroad Street West
Area served
South Yorkshire
ParentSouth Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) was the passenger transport executive for South Yorkshire. It was responsible for implementing policies set by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority (SYPTA) and for operation of the Authority's bus fleet from its formation in 1974 until its dissolution in 2023, when its assets and duties were transferred to the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.


Formation and Pre-Privatisation (1974–1986)

The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority and Executive were founded in April 1974. The PTE inherited the bus fleets of Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster councils and operated the majority of bus services in the metropolitan county of South Yorkshire, except the Barnsley area which continued to be served by the Yorkshire Traction Company, part of the National Bus Company.

Post-Privatisation (1986–2006)

Bus operations

From 1986 until 1993, buses were operated by an arms length company, South Yorkshire Transport, until a management buyout created the bus operating company Mainline Group.[1] Shortly after Stagecoach purchased a 20% stake in the company, however this was sold in 1995 to FirstBus.

SYPTE Daimler CVG6 in Sheffield in September 1976

Supertram launch

After detailed planning, a new tram network in Sheffield was approved by Act of Parliament in 1991. Three years later in 1994, the Sheffield Supertram was opened, returning tram services to Sheffield after 34 years.[2] It was initially publicly operated, but was privatised in 1997 after encountering major operational problems.[3] Stagecoach has operated the trams ever since.[2][4]

New stations and interchanges

Eleven new stations were opened by SYPTE between 1983 and 1993. Many of these were re-opened former stations previously closed in the 1960s under the Beeching cuts, but not all; Goldthorpe and Thurnscoe were entirely new stations, Rotherham Central was built to replace the closing Rotherham Masborough which was further away from Rotherham town centre, and Meadowhall Interchange was built to serve the new Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

In addition to these new stations, many existing interchanges were refurbished during the early 2000s. These helped to provide a hub for local, regional and sometimes national bus and coach services, and in some locations also provide an interchange facility onto trams and passenger rail services.

Re-branding as Travel South Yorkshire (2006–2023)

The South Yorkshire public transport network, of which SYPTE is a key deliverer of passenger services, was re-branded as Travel South Yorkshire in 2006. Changes included the introduction of the YourNextBus scheme on all stops as well as the addition LED departure boards on the region's most often run routes at certain stops.


In October 2018, the new tram-train line between Cathedral and the newly built Rotherham Parkgate tram stop was opened.[5] It was the first tram-train service in the UK, and acted as a pilot scheme for determining the viability of other tram-train projects. On the opening day, an accident caused by a lorry derailed one of the new tram-trains, temporarily suspending services.[6] Faults found on the trains caused some further disruption in 2019.[7]

SYPTE dissolusion and transfer to SYMCA

On 1 April 2023, the executive was legally dissolved via an order made under the Transport Act 1985, with all of its functions and assets being transferred to South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.[8][9] The Travel South Yorkshire brand is still used as the customer facing brand for its transport services.


Infrastructure and travel interchanges

SYPTE was responsible for all the bus stops, shelters and bus interchanges in the county, along with park & ride sites. It was also responsible for the Sheffield Supertram network infrastructure.

Travel South Yorkshire's interchanges at Sheffield, Arundel Gate in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Hillsborough and Dinnington provide information and advice about public transport in South Yorkshire. From these interchanges, information can be obtained and a range of multi-modal (TravelMaster) tickets can be bought from self-serve vending machines. Other travel passes which were previously available at 'Information Centre' desks at these interchanges are now only available from the Travel South Yorkshire website or over the phone from Traveline.

Sheffield Interchange

Timetable information

SYPTE provided timetable information for all bus and train services within South Yorkshire. This was found at stops, in the form of timetable leaflets, information on the web and a telephone enquiry service called Traveline.

Ticketing and concessions

SYPTE sold a range of multi-modal tickets on behalf of the public transport operators of South Yorkshire, including countywide TravelMaster tickets. These were generally in the form of smart card tickets and are commercial products which do not receive a subsidy. It also administered the concessionary travel schemes for young people and students, senior citizens and the mobility impaired. Many of these schemes have continued since SYPTE's dissolution.

Transport services

SYPTE was responsible for various public transport services in the county, including various subsidised bus services.


South Yorkshire Supertram

Main article: South Yorkshire Supertram

The first sections of the South Yorkshire Supertram were opened in 1994.[2] It initially ran mostly within Sheffield and was made up of three lines: Yellow, Blue, Purple. Since then a tram-train line has been created extending the network out to Rotherham Parkgate.

Trolleybus experiment

Main article: Trolleybuses in Doncaster § Doncaster Racecourse experiment

In 1985, the SYPTE purchased an Alexander RH bodied Dennis Dominator trolleybus with a view to reintroducing a trolleybus network. A one mile section on Sandall Beat Road alongside Doncaster Racecourse was wired.[10] However with deregulation in 1986, the project was shelved.


National Transport Awards

Institution of Highways and Transportation Awards

Yorkshire Renaissance Awards

UK Bus Awards

Secure Stations Scheme

TravelWise Awards

Institution of Civil Engineers' Yorkshire & Humber Awards

Light Rail Awards

Rail Business Awards

Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards


  1. ^ South Yorkshire Transport Authority Sells Off Bus Company to Staff Local Government Chronicle 18 November 1993
  2. ^ a b c "history : Sheffield Supertram :". Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  3. ^ "Sheffield Supertram's logical progression". Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Welcome to Supertram". Stagecoach. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  5. ^ "UK's first ever 'tram train' launches in South Yorkshire". Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  6. ^ "Sheffield tram-train service resumes after launch day crash". BBC News. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Sheffield tram-trains suspended after fault found". BBC News. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  8. ^ "The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (Transfer of Functions) Order 2023". Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  9. ^ "Transport". South Yorkshire MCA. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  10. ^ Trolleybus starts days at races Commercial Motor 20 July 1985
  11. ^ "Transport Times Events | News/Blog | NATIONAL TRANSPORT AWARDS 2013 – Winners Announced". Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  12. ^ Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "Sheffield city council pull out of carbon saving plan". Retrieved 27 January 2018.