Bus passengers invited to debate service future

Have your say

A FURTHER debate is to be held about the planned overhaul of Sheffield’s bus network as passengers have made more complaints.

The city’s network will be overhauled and new shared ticketing arrangements between operators brought in, under the Sheffield Bus Partnership, due to start next month.

The plans have been called in for debate at a meeting of the authority’s Economic and Environmental Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee from 2pm today at the Town Hall.

A report to the meeting, which is open to the public, said: “The call-in to consider this issue is to allow for greater examination of what the agreement is proposed to contain, and how this might impact on the city’s transport offer.”

In the meantime, further complaints have been made about current services.

John Brighton, of the Friends of Millhouses Park, said: “First advertise a 10 minute alternating 97/98 bus service but this is often not the case, with buses frequently running in pairs making a 20-minute interval or longer.”

A First spokesman said: “Service 97/98 has been experiencing high volumes of traffic along Barnsley Road and this has caused some of our services, particularly at peak times, to suffer. We are aware of this and have registered to make some changes. At the end of October there are some timetable changes to certain journeys on this route at different parts of the day, and particularly at busy times, to improve punctuality.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield-based transport expert John Hardey, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, said: “There should be no cross-city services as these lead to unreliability. In the past few years, several cross-city services have been broken, to terminate in the city centre, to improve poor reliability.”

David Young, director of customer experience at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: “We believe the partnership scheme does contain radical plans to improve the bus network, including more integrated ticketing, a more stable network and some cheaper fares.

“We believe the cross-city proposals best balance the needs of minimising congestion in the city centre, serving different parts of the city centre, and reducing the need for interchange.”

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