Protests over Sheffield bus cuts as plans set for green light today

Bus cuts protesters with their petition outside Sheffield Interchange
Bus cuts protesters with their petition outside Sheffield Interchange
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Protests will be held today as transport bosses are set to decide controversial cuts to bus services in Sheffield.

The original proposals - which scrapped, re-routed, reduced and renumbered scores of buses across the city - sparked widespread public opposition and campaigns.

Following the outcry and responses from 2,500 people during consultation, Sheffield Bus Partnership revised its plans to reduce the impact on passengers and the new versions are expected to be agreed at a meeting in Barnsley this afternoon.

However Sheffield Trade Union Council, Sheffield People’s Assembly and the South Yorkshire Freedom Riders - who challenge cuts to concessionary travel last year - are to demonstrate on Regent Street in the town from 1pm.

The freedom riders have been given the right to speak at the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority transport committee and are pledging to have a ‘large and lively lobby’ beforehand.

George Arthur, from the group, said:“Many of our members live in Sheffield and will be severely affected by these cuts.

“Many elderly and disabled people will feel themselves cut off by the removal of many bus routes and by the less frequent running of others.

“We are very concerned cuts in Sheffield will lead on to cuts in Barnsley and other parts of South Yorkshire.”

Consultation on the original proposals was itself criticised by councillors and residents as being inadequate, with a lack of leaflets on buses.

Sharron Milsom, a disabled member of the freedom riders from Sheffield, said:“Many people I know in Sheffield are still unaware of the cuts that are planned and will be shocked when they find out.”

Martin Mayer, secretary of Sheffield TUC, said the cuts amounted to losing ten per cent of Sheffield’s bus services.

He added: “We welcome the concessions to restore a small number of bus links which had faced the axe, but the scale of the cuts to frequencies - even on main corridors is still massive.”

The bus partnership has said its proposals aim to improve the city’s network and reduce duplication.

Its new proposals include keeping the SL2 Supertram link at Stannington at every 20 minutes instead of scrapping it and providing a peak direct service from Dore to the Hallamshire Hospital in Broomhill instead of rerouting the 70 completely as first planned.

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