People power halts Sheffield bus-route changes

Unhappy residents make their feelings known at the number 20 bus terminus on Thorpe House Avenue, Norton Lees.
Unhappy residents make their feelings known at the number 20 bus terminus on Thorpe House Avenue, Norton Lees.
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People power has resulted in transport chiefs putting the brakes on planned changes to bus services after a series of protests.

Sheffield Bus Partnership – which involves operators, Sheffield Council and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive – has cancelled some alterations altogether and postponed others pending more consultation.

The changes follow more than 1,000 replies to initial consultation, carried out between July and August, and three petitions.

Coun Leigh Bramall, council cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “The outcome of this consultation clearly shows the partnership is listening to people to get our bus services right.

“There is more work to be done, but this is important to ensure we deliver the best service possible.”

Among the proposed changes not going ahead are the scrapping of the 13/13a services in north Sheffield, which would have been replaced by an extended 66 service.

Passengers said they preferred the existing service as it offered a link between High Green, Grenoside, Fox Hill, Hillsborough and the city centre.

In addition, proposed changes to routes from Ecclesall Road to north west Sheffield – services 11, 12, 81, 82, 85 and 95 – will not now be implemented, but reviewed at a later date.

Operator First is to carry out further consultation on the 17, 20 and 20a services in south Sheffield to ensure these routes are meeting passengers’ needs. Changes will now be postponed until next year for more talks.

Pensioners in Norton Lees were particularly unhappy and held a protest to complain about changes, which would have left some streets without a regular service.

Other changes not going ahead are cuts to evening journeys on the 25 Woodhouse-Bradway route, and alterations to the 35,36 and 37 services in north-east Sheffield, which will now only have minor amendments from October.

Richard Soper, for First South Yorkshire, said: “We are happy to work with our partners to listen to the views of the local communities that we serve and to consider making changes to our network where it is sensible and practical to do so.”

Paul Lynch, Stagecoach Sheffield managing director, said: “Providing the best public transport offer for our customers is vital.

“Continuing to ask our customers to tell us what they want from their services will help us to continue to make bus travel an attractive option in Sheffield.”