PLANS have been approved for a package of improvements to a major Sheffield bus route – using a share of £1.3 million transport funding.
The cash is made up of £912,000 from the Department for Transport’s Better Buses fund and £400,000 from the South Yorkshire Local Transport Fund.
An unspecified share will be spent on upgrades to the 120 bus service, which runs between Halfway, the city centre, Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Fulwood.
Sheffield Council’s highways committee has approved the scheme and work will take place over the next two years on the section of route south-east of the city centre.
The decision to invest in further improvements to the 120, which already has newer buses and a more frequent service than other routes, has angered people in neighbouring areas.
Terry Andrews, of Base Green Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said: “The 120 and the 52 route are the best bus services in Sheffield, with new vehicles which run every few minutes.
“It’s ridiculous the 120 is getting more money for improvements when other areas do not get anywhere near as good a service at present.
“Our route, the 44, runs every 20 minutes during the day, but then reduces to half-hourly in the evenings and hourly late on.
“Other areas have services which are even worse.
“The money could be better spent improving bus services not yet brought up to scratch.”
In a report to the highways committee, council officers said the money would be used for a series of improvements on the 120 between the city centre and Halfway.
The proposals could include a series of road layout changes to reduce delays, such as alterations to the bus lane on Mansfield Road, approaching Manor Top, and a possible extension of the bus lane on Granville Road.
There will a review of other ‘hotspots’ for delays on the route, such as Birley Moor Road, Birley Spa Lane and Moss Way junction, to ‘improve reliability’.
Funding will also pay for ‘real-time’ information screens at bus stops to show what time the next services are due, upgrading bus stops with raised kerbs and tactile paving to help disabled people, upgrading traffic lights to give buses more priority, and a review of existing measures.
Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for transport, said: “The funding has been granted by the Government to improve routes in the city and as part of an agreement with operators to improve services on the 120, there is a commitment to reduce delays.”