South Yorkshire metropolitan county

If you are more familiar with metropolitan counties in other parts of the country, then you may need to adjust your sense of scale when you arrive in those in Yorkshire.

Here are some facts and figures about South Yorkshire:

• In terms of of its size South Yorkshire comes only after West Yorkshire among metropolitan counties and is also just 8 square miles less than Greater London.

• South Yorkshire is made up of a group of four metropolitan districts, each centred on a city or major town after which it is named, but all including other towns and villages.

• South Yorkshire is 20% larger than Greater Manchester, which is divided into 10 metropolitan districts.

• South Yorkshire is the size of Merseyside added to West Midlands, which together have 12 metropolitan districts compared with South Yorkshire's four.

• In common with those in West Yorkshire, the metropolitan districts of South Yorkshire are about three times larger than those outside Yorkshire and more than eight times larger than London boroughs.

• The population of South Yorkshire is more than 1.4 million.

• More than 0.5 million live in the Sheffield metropolitan district. It is the second most populated district in Yorkshire after Leeds in West Yorkshire and marginally higher than third-placed Bradford in West Yorkshire.

• More than 0.3 million live in South Yorkshire's second largest centre of population, the Doncaster metropolitan district.

• The Sheffield and Barnsley metropolitan districts include part of the Peak District National Park.

• South Yorkshire's only city, Sheffield, is in the south-west rather than central to the metropolitan county.

• The South Yorkshire metropolitan county was formed in 1974 from around 22% of the historic West Riding of Yorkshire. It included the southern portion of the previous administrative county, an area where towns had seen expansion mainly associated with coal mining or steel production.

• When the new county was formed, Barnsley became its county town.

Peak District moors in Sheffield district Mexborough - a town in Doncaster district Dinnington - a town in Rotherham district Penistone - a town in Barnsley district Sheffield city centre • The metropolitan county authority was abolished in 1986 but the four metropolitan districts have come together to organise some services through joint boards and more recently through the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority. This official name was apparently chosen in preference to South Yorkshire Combined Authority but is now often branded Sheffield City Region Combined Authority even though its service coverage is South Yorkshire rather than the entirety of what has in recent years been defined the Sheffield City Region.

• A mayoral election for the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority took place in 2018. While sometimes referred to as the Sheffield City Region mayoral election, the election was only for those living in the four metropolitan districts of South Yorkshire.

• The Sheffield City Region formed ahead of the UK Government's city-centric devolution budget deal, crosses the historic boundaries of Yorkshire by bolting on districts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire which neighbour South Yorkshire, namely the non-metropolitan districts of Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North-East Derbyshire. The extended area represents a supposed area of influence of Sheffield equating to around two-and-a-half times the area of Greater London or the South Yorkshire metropolitan county.

• The Sheffield City Region attempts in its constitution to explain its confusing set-up as having constituent members and non-constituent members. Effectively constituent means the metropolitan districts of South Yorkshire, non-constituent means the non-metropolitan districts outside Yorkshire. All districts have a representative from the elected district council. South Yorkshire districts vote in the mayoral election, the remainder don't.

Barnsley Interchange • South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive offers travel tickets and passes allowing travel across the multiple operators within the boundaries of South Yorkshire and provides travel planning through its  Travel South Yorkshire website.

• A train journey from South Yorkshire’s westernmost railway station Penistone to its easternmost railway station Thorne South takes 2 hours 15 minutes. From the northernmost station Darton to southernmost Dore and Totley takes 1 hour 7 minutes.

• The highest point in South Yorkshire is High Stones at 550 metres (1,804ft) on the Howden Moors in the Sheffield metropolitan district and Peak District National Park.

Thorne is 32 miles by road from Sheffield • South Yorkshire's longest rivers are the River Don and the River Dearne. The Don starts near the boundary of West Yorkshire above Dunford Bridge in the Barnsley metropolitan district and flows through all four districts of South Yorkshire. It flows out of the county north of Thorne just before it diverts via the Dutch River to Goole. The Dearne starts just over the West Yorkshire boundary and flows through the Barnsley district, is the northern boundary of Rotherham district for a short section and joins the River Don near Denaby Main in the Doncaster district.

Sheffield disambiguation

Sheffield may now relate to one or more of the following:

• The urban area of the city of Sheffield or, within it, its city centre.

• The metropolitan district run by Sheffield City Council. About three-times the size of those metropolitan districts outside Yorkshire, it also contains the towns of Stocksbridge and Chapeltown and a vast rural area, making up around half the district, which includes part of the Peak District National Park.

• As Sheffield City Region Combined Authority an area equating to the county of South Yorkshire, including the  Sheffield City Council area and the three similarly-sized metropolitan districts of  Barnsley,  Doncaster and  Rotherham.

• As Sheffield City Region the whole of South Yorkshire plus Bassetlaw district of Nottinghamshire and the Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North-East Derbyshire districts of Derbyshire. As such it represents about 10 times the area of the Sheffield metropolitan district or 2.5 times the area of Greater London or South Yorkshire.


Places in South Yorkshire

Find cities, towns and villages in the metropolitan districts of South Yorkshire:

BARNSLEY Metropolitan district
DONCASTER Metropolitan district
ROTHERHAM Metropolitan district
SHEFFIELD Metropolitan district

Links to useful South Yorkshire websites

Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority
Covers South Yorkshire.
Link to authority website:  Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority

Travel South Yorkshire
Run by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, the Travel South Yorkshire provides help and information on journey planning.
 Travel South Yorkshire website.

Emergency services

South Yorkshire Police  South Yorkshire Police website.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue  South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.


South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the four metropolitan district councils of South Yorkshire - Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
 South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority web pages.


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