New bus signs a change ‘in the wrong direction’

Buses on Sheffield's High Street
Buses on Sheffield's High Street
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new orange signs on the buses certainly stand out...

But not everyone is finding them an improvement because the displays are very bright and have a flicker which makes them difficult for people with sight problems to read.

Retired driving instructor Frank Goodliffe said he cannot see what number bus is coming.

“I have to stick my hand out and flag down any bus I see coming - then ask the driver which route they are on and where they are going. It is not very satisfactory,” Mr Goodliffe said.

The 83-year-old lives in Chapeltown and has been forced to give up driving in recent years.

He said: “I have become partially-sighted, meaning I rely on the buses to get around.

“Until recently, they all had signs which were clear and did not flicker, so I could see the number - even if I could not make out the smaller writing.”

But since newer vehicles have been brought onto the network by main operators First and Stagecoach, the situation has changed.

Mr Goodliffe said: “There is no way I can make out the new bright orange displays.

“If only they could find some other way of displaying the route number as well elsewhere on the vehicle then it would be helpful and avoid me having to stop every bus that comes.”

He suggested adding bus numbers on the front grille next to branding logos.

Many buses in Sheffield are covered in logos specific to their route - including images of landmarks along their journeys.

“I am sure a route number could be added somewhere. There must be many other people who are having the same problem as me and it would be a practical solution,” Mr Goodliffe added.

He said he had contacted bus company managers with his complaint and request for help.

Nobody has yet responded.

The Star has asked South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive - which oversees public transport services - to raise the matter during discussions with operators during the ongoing overhaul of Sheffield’s bus network.