Anger at change to Sheffield bus route that leaves children 'vulnerable'

Pupils and parents protest against changes to the 71 bus in Mosborough.
Pupils and parents protest against changes to the 71 bus in Mosborough.
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Sheffield parents have accused a bus company of putting children in danger by changing one of its routes.

Stagecoach Yorkshire has revealed plans to withdraw the 72 service between Killamarsh and Crystal Peaks, and change the route of the 71 bus to replace it.

The firm says the 72 is not financially viable, and rerouting the 71 will provide a better option for passengers travelling between Chesterfield and Sheffield.

But the new route will no longer go along Station Road in Mosborough, where it currently picks up pupils on the way to All Saints Catholic High School in Granville Road.

The change has angered parents, who say their children will either have to catch the 50 service, which is often late, or walk - which would take over an hour-and-a-half.

Tracey Beck has an 11-year-old daughter at the school.

She said: "The 71 gets the kids to school in plenty of time. The next bus is the 50 and 80 per cent of the time it's late.

"There are times when the driver has got confused and don't come down Granville Road. So the kids are just stood there and if that bus doesn't come then there's no other bus to take them home."

Mrs Beck said there was no other bus serving an 'expanding' area where hundreds of new homes were planned.

Concerns have also been raised about where the 50 service stops, several minutes' walk away from the school.

Nicki Swift said it left children in a 'vulnerable' position, adding: "We are talking about young girls only 11 years of age here having to walk to school when it is still dark."

Stagecoach Yorkshire said the 72 service had generated 'little demand' and the 71 was being rerouted to keep a link from Killamarsh to Crystal Peaks.

Managing director Matt Davies said: “Regrettably, this means Station Road in Mosborough will no longer be served by service 71.

"Our analysis shows passenger numbers travelling through Mosborough are low and almost all passengers travelling through the area are commuting to and from Sheffield as opposed to boarding or alighting in Birley or Intake."

Mr Davies said there were 'a number' of other options for Mosborough residents, such as the 50 and the 120.

He added: “We continue to work hard to ensure the sustainability of our bus services across all routes, particularly during this challenging economic climate.

"The changes we are making have been fully researched and are vital to ensure we can maintain our offer of value for money fares and maintain our policy of strong investment in our fleet, product range and staff.”

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