People power saves Sheffield buses

Buses on Sheffield's High Street
Buses on Sheffield's High Street
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PEOPLE power has helped to save bus services from the axe in a shake-up of Sheffield’s network.

More than 2,500 people spoke out or submitted petitions about alterations proposed under a partnership of operators and officials working together.

And, as a new proposed deal for the city’s buses is unveiled today, five proposals for services have now changed following the consultation - with several more to be reviewed further before a decision is made.

David Young, director of customer experience at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said there had been a ‘huge’ amount of feedback from the public.

He told The Star: “That is really important for us and the bus operators, to get that amount of response.

“We have listened to people - sometimes consultation is dressed up as telling people what’s going to happen.

“This has always been about listening to what people want, and not assuming we’ve got it right first time.”

The number 4 bus service along Cemetery Road and Psalter Lane, in Nether Edge, was to be withdrawn because of poor patronage. Now, after campaigners handed in petitions and letters, it will still run with an hourly daytime service.

The number 44 was to end at Birley, rather than going to Crystal Peaks, with evening services on it and the 42 withdrawn.

But hundreds of concerned residents in Base Green and Birley protested that they would be ‘isolated’ by the changes. Costs are now being looked at to restore the evening service on both routes, and extend a number of journeys to Crystal Peaks.

Terry Andrew, treasurer of Base Green Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said today: “This is brilliant. It is the best news I have had for a while.

“It seems to be the only sensible thing to do because a lot of people wouldn’t be able to get out.

“It has been a lot of hard work gathering all the petitions but it showed how many people would have been affected by this.”

The 84 service to Ringinglow was also to be withdrawn, but a schools service is set to be provided and tenders sought to retain the present service.

On the 83 bus service in Ecclesfield, residents’ concerns about safety on Button Hill have led to the introduction of a route change.

And services 70 and 84 will be extended to call at Sheffield Transport Interchange, although the 70 will not visit Hallamshire Hospital directly.

A decision has yet to be made on a proposal to stop services 13 and 66 from going to Chapeltown, withdrawing the 49, reducing the 57 from every 20 minutes to hourly, a revised route for the 76, and discontinuing the 77/78.

Co-ordinating and re-routing the 79 and 79A services is also still under review.

Several other proposals will still go ahead, including:

n Service 51 between Charnock and Lodge Moor to divert on West Street rather than Broad Lane

n Evening service extension withdrawn on 88A to High Green, and via Greystones to Bents Green

n The 87 from Lowedges to High Green will divert by Archer Road

n Services 35, 36 and 37 reduced from half hourly to hourly

n A longer route on the SL in Stocksbridge

n Improved frequency on the services 1, 47, 48, 81