Today the Star joins Doncaster’s market traders in a battle to bring buses to the market.
We are calling on the bus companies, the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, and Doncaster Council to work to bring in services stopping at Market Road or as near as possible to the market.
Traders are concerned that none of the services currently go right past the market - and say many customers are having to walk in from the Frenchgate Centre and Duke Street.
Some services stop on Silver Street and Thorne Road, but they are concerned that their older customers face difficulties in getting to the historic market place.
Today we are backing them and their customers in their call and launching our Buses to the Market campaign.
Nigel Berry, Doncaster Market Traders’ Federation Committee member, said: “We would like to see some of the buses moving along to the market.
We want to ask the people of Doncaster if they want them to run past the market.
“We have talks between ourselves at the federation, and spoken to the council markets officers about it.
“We can see no reason why the service buses cannot run past the market, along Church Way or Market Road.
“We want people to let the bus companies know people want the buses to go past the market. The companies might find they get more people using them if they go past the market.”
Federation president Mick Maye also pledged his backing for the campaign.
He said: “Buses should take people where they want to go. We don’t feel they do that at the moment.
“We would like to see them stop on Market Road.”
Doncaster Council is due to spend nearly £1 million on improvements to the markets. Traders feel they will see a better return on that if buses are taken closer the area.
Traders have complained in the past that the construction of the transport interchange at the Frenchgate Centre was taking customers away from the markets area. They feel taking more services past the market will help them.
At present, the closest buses are the 76, 76A ansd 77, which go along Silver Street and Nether Hall Road.
Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones said the council had not been told by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive of any planned amendments to bus services, and said she was aware they were looking at cuts to their budgets.
She pledged: “We will be making representations, once the regeneration of Doncaster Markets is complete, to seek to increase the number of buses stopping at the market bus stop.”
David Young, passenger transport executive deputy interim director general, said: “Most services in Doncaster run into the Frenchgate Centre. This is the purpose-built bus interchange allowing customers from all parts of Doncaster to have easy access through interchange to locations like the hospital, the jobs at Lakeside and onto bus services like the 76, 76A and 77, which go past the markets.
“Most bus routes are designed and run by the bus operators. They decide on where and when their buses run, following previous discussions First now offer a 40p central zone ticket helping customers travel around the centre of Doncaster, free if you are a concessionary pass holder or you show your First single ticket to the driver,
“We are aware of the aspiration of traders for a service to run past Doncaster Market and we will continue to work with operators to see how the network can best serve the whole of the town.”
A spokesman for Doncaster’s biggest bus operator, First South Yorkshire, said: “We have not had any discussions with Doncaster Market Traders Federation but are more than happy to discuss their requirements.
“We do however have concerns regarding the traffic congestion in the markets area impacting on the services.”