Campaigners win battle to save Sheffield bus

Protest: Residents living around Psalter Lane mounted a huge campaign to save their bus service.                   PICTURE: STEVE TAYLOR.
Protest: Residents living around Psalter Lane mounted a huge campaign to save their bus service. PICTURE: STEVE TAYLOR.
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RESIDENTS are celebrating after transport chiefs confirmed a threatened Sheffield bus route will be saved.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive has announced that the Number 4 service along Cemetery Road and Psalter Lane, Nether Edge, will continue to run hourly.

The move follows a huge protest which included a 600-signature petition from people living in the area. Residents Dorothy Manners and Jean Cromar had also lobbied a meeting of Sheffield Council.

The service was set to be withdrawn as part of a shake-up of the city’s network, because of poor patronage in recent years.

But residents argued the bus was under-used because of cuts to the timetable and unreliable, old buses, which sometimes do not turn up. They said alternative services on Ecclesall Road involved a steep walk which would be difficult for pensioners.

Christine Venables, Nether Edge Neighbourhood Group vice-chairman, said: “It’s great news and shows community campaigning can work. It is vital the PTE ensures whichever company has the contract provides a reliable service.”

Mrs Cromar said: “I am pleased a bus is continuing but would have preferred it to be half-hourly.”

Coun Nikki Bond, Labour member for Nether Edge, said: “This is a victory for everyone who uses the service and especially the elderly and frail who would have been left stranded.”

Lib Dem ward colleague Coun Anders Hanson added: “There are still questions to be asked about the service but this goes to show what can be achieved when the community rallies around a cause.”

The retained service will be operated as part of the Sheffield Bus Partnership, which involves private operators working together to provide services with shared, cheaper tickets.

The PTE said the service would be run under tender by a private operator.

David Young, director of customer experience at the PTE, said: “We are pleased to say that, having listened to the community, particularly on Psalter Lane, we will be seeking prices to run a bus service along this road to meet the needs of local residents.”