BUSES: New timetables to be drawn up for Sheffield services to tackle ‘bus bunching’

Bus timetable and route changes cause chaos for travellers in Sheffield. Picture: Dean Atkins
Bus timetable and route changes cause chaos for travellers in Sheffield. Picture: Dean Atkins
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Bus chiefs in Sheffield are planning to draw up new timetables to align with extra services after cuts caused chaos.

Nearly 13,000 people signed a petition to reverse the sweeping changes which came in on November 1 and after a massive public outcry, operators laid on an extra 30 double deckers to replace single tiered ones.

Bus chiefs insist they are ‘listening’ carefully to customers and that new timetables will be implemented in early 2016.

But many passengers who have written into The Star have said that up to three buses can turn up at the same time although all are full - so they must wait until much later to get on board.

Greenhill mum, Joanne Lumley, who handed in a 12,384 strong petition, said that the increase in bus capacity had not resolved the underlying problems.

She said: “The bus companies have not thought about spacing them out, it’s okay providing more buses but they are still busy and people are desperate to get on because they feel there won’t be another one for ages.

“At peak times they need to space them out more, a good example of this is the 75 and 76 services from the Peace Gardens.”

The Star approached bus companies First and Stagecoach to ask what action was being taken to resolve problems.

They did not respond directly, instead issuing a statement through Sheffield Bus Partnership, which includes operators and Sheffield Council.

A partnership spokesman said: “The partnership has already introduced 30 double decker buses to the network to replace single deckers and will be making some amendments to the timetables of some services to improve punctuality, and to reduce the instances of buses bunching along a route.”

Both First and Stagecoach chiefs are set to appear in front of the Sheffield City Region’s transport committee to face public scrutiny on February 29.

The spokesman added: “We continue to monitor the new bus network and have been listening to our customers to identify any issues with journeys to make service improvements as a direct result. The next stage of these changes in response to customer feedback will be the timetable improvements on 3 January 2016.

“The partnership continues to work together to drive further improvements to passenger journeys and to make sure the city-wide network changes deliver for all.”