Chaos as pupils wait in pouring rain for 'late and overcrowded' bus to Sheffield school on first week back

Pupils waiting in the rain for the 782
Pupils waiting in the rain for the 782
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Devastated pupils at a Sheffield high school have been forced to endure 'unsafe', overcrowded buses on their first week back to school.

Up to 100 pupils travelling from High Green and Chapeltown have complained of being packed onto an overcrowded bus as they travelled to Notre Dame High School this week.

The loss of the Brightbus school service at the end of May has meant pupils travelling to the Catholic high school now no longer have a direct bus route.

Instead, children are forced to get the number 85 public bus to Grenoside before waiting on a narrow pavement for the 782 to take them the rest of the way.

However, the pupils have complained that the connecting bus has often been half-an-hour late; forcing them to miss the start of their school day.

One mother, Alison Broughton, said that her 14-year-old son's journey home to High Green now takes more than two hours as a result of the changes.

She said: "We used to set off at 7.15 to get the 782 which took him straight to school in around 40 minutes. Now the kids have to change at Grenoside.

"But the 782, provided by First, has been late every morning. It's the same on the way back and my son is not getting home until 5.40 after finishing at 3.30.

"There are also 60 children stood at Norfolk Hill Road where the 85 drops them off. They're stood in the pouring down rain, getting wet through and the bus is overloaded.

"The bus driver is under so much pressure to take the children but it's so unsafe. The journey is long enough and the overcrowding is just adding to the nightmare.

"I don't want him having to do a three-hour commute every day. The children are absolutely distraught, especially those in Year 7. Yhe last thing you want is to turn up late to a new school."

The situation is no better for the pupils at the end of the school day, as Ms Broughton explains.

The Tankersley mother said that, while the rest of the school buses are parked outside by 3.15pm, the 782 has to do another school run before arriving at Notre Dame.

She said: "In the past, the bus would leave at 3.30pm and the kids would be home an hour later. Now, the children are still waiting in the school hall at 4.15pm.

"Some of the children have now resorted to getting public buses on the way back from school. But, some are getting turned away because that is getting too overcrowded as well."

Parents have now called for a single bus running from Chapeltown through High Green to Grenoside to solve the problem.

South Yorkshire Public Transport Executive (SYPTE) said that an additional bus home will run from Monday, September 11, in a step to alleviate the problems.

A spokesperson for Sheffield Bus Partnership, said: “Since Brightbus’s announcement of closure at the end of the last school year SYPTE, local authorities, commercial operators and schools worked together to provide transport arrangements for the affected school services within the available resources.

"The current provisions for Notre Dame school were agreed by all parties to provide the best possible solution for pupils and SYPTE will continue to work with the school to investigate and resolve any issues which may arise.

"Capacity concerns on the 782 and 784 are being looked at and an additional afternoon bus, numbered 785, will commence from Monday 11th September to help with the demand.

"The position will continue to be monitored closely by the Partnership and Notre Dame School."

First Buses and Notre Dame High School have been approached for comment.