Passengers have their say

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Have your say

THERE are possibly few more contentious issues than the vexed question of public transport and the buses.

Complaints will come in from people about frequency, punctuality, cleanliness, conduct of drivers and courtesy, let alone price.

So the Question Time-style debate being held by the bus operators in Sheffield next week has already opened a Pandora’s Box of issues from our readers.

That is why over the past few days we have been giving publicity to the proposed changes being considered by First Bus and Stagecoach.

And the level of response we have received merely serves to underline the fact that the bus operators have a lot of listening still to do.

To be fair to them, their new ticketing initiative allowing passengers to board either operator’s bus and transfer their tickets is a huge step in the right direction and needs to be applied to all public service operators. But why it does not apply to the Optio routes that both operators serve, needs to be answered.

As our readers say, the sense of frustration they get when bus after bus from a rival company goes past and you cannot board it because you have a different ticket is palpable.

If the council and, indeed, the Government is serious about getting people on board the public transport train - or bus, then they have to work a lot harder to make it more palatable, cleaner, cheaper and convenient.

So we applaud the bus operators for holding the debate and we look forward to them listening and acting on the points raised by their existing and potential customers.

We are leading the world again

THE new £6.3m critical care unit opened at the Royal Hallamshire hospital once again gives Sheffield a world-class facility.

The new 29-bed unit will provide patients and their families with a quality of care unrivalled in the country, making us a centre of excellence.

Today, we are able to reveal just how state-of-the-art this facility is.

It is at the cutting edge of hygiene standards with all equipment free- standing or suspended from the ceiling, special air-quality regulatory equipment can be adjusted by room and at the touch of a button, and the new family rooms are a step change in environment for people waiting on news of their loved ones. The teaching hospitals of Sheffield already have an impressive reputation. This latest addition takes it to another level again.