South Yorkshire: Oyster-style bus travel cards have hit the shops

Picture shows the X78 bus service which Nick Barnfield and fiancee Sarah Cleaves and their 15 month-old girl Heidi were asked to leave by the bus driver. See copy RPYPEPPA. A young couple yesterday (Fri) told how they found themselves kicked off a bus and accused of racism - for singing the Peppa Pig theme to their baby daughter.Stunned Nick Barnfield and fiancee Sarah Cleaves were travelling home when they started singing to their 15 month-old girl Heidi.They said the youngster gets upset in crowded places and they hoped the tune from her favourite show - complete with pig-like snorts - would help calm her.But an Asian woman accused them of being racist and reported them to the driver of the X78 First service.rossparry.co.uk / Steven Schofield
Picture shows the X78 bus service which Nick Barnfield and fiancee Sarah Cleaves and their 15 month-old girl Heidi were asked to leave by the bus driver. See copy RPYPEPPA. A young couple yesterday (Fri) told how they found themselves kicked off a bus and accused of racism - for singing the Peppa Pig theme to their baby daughter.Stunned Nick Barnfield and fiancee Sarah Cleaves were travelling home when they started singing to their 15 month-old girl Heidi.They said the youngster gets upset in crowded places and they hoped the tune from her favourite show - complete with pig-like snorts - would help calm her.But an Asian woman accused them of being racist and reported them to the driver of the X78 First service.rossparry.co.uk / Steven Schofield

Public transport users in South Yorkshire will be able to buy Oyster-style smart tickets from local shops from the beginning of April.

More than 300 stores across the region will sell and top up the electronic smartcard tickets, where the Payzone sign is displayed.

Passengers can currently get a range of seven day and 28 day TravelMaster passes on smartcard – offering unlimited travel on South Yorkshire’s buses, trams and trains.

David Young, South Yorkshire passenger transport Eexecutive deputy interim director general, said: “Travel tickets are already available through many different means.”

“But together with local public transport companies, we are working to widen this range and to expand the number of places where people can buy tickets from.”

“Making smartcards available at Payzone outlets offers convenience and choice.”

“It is just one of the many ways we are providing smarter, more accessible products and services and giving people more public transport options that can be used when and where they want.”

The scheme is part funded by a £1.34m Government grant.

Meanwhile bus operator First has increased many of its fares in South Yorkshire.

Its daily ticket has increased by 10p, the weekly ticket by 50p and the monthly ticket by £2. There has also been a rise on selected single fares.

Other tickets such as the £1 adult fare have been frozen.

Ben Gilligan, managing director of First in South Yorkshire said: “Despite having to absorb increasing costs, I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to hold the prices of many fares.”

“This means that the majority of our customers will benefit by paying exactly the same for bus travel.”

“However, most costs associated with operating buses are increasing and therefore we need to review our fares from time-to-time to take account of this and ensure we can continue to invest in improving services for our customers in future,” Mr Gilligan added.