Probe into ‘disgraceful’ Sheffield bus service

Dore resident Colin Robinson (centre) with Liberal Democrat councillors Colin Ross (l) and Joe Otten are complaing about the reliability about the number 70 bus service. Picture: Andrew Roe
Dore resident Colin Robinson (centre) with Liberal Democrat councillors Colin Ross (l) and Joe Otten are complaing about the reliability about the number 70 bus service. Picture: Andrew Roe
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A bus passenger has sparked a Government agency probe into a ‘disgraceful’ Sheffield bus service.

Retired accountant Colin Robinson was so incensed by the number 70 turning up late, being cancelled or not showing that he complained to a traffic commissioner.

The Driver and Vehicle Services Agency will now investigate the reliability of the service, which has been problematic since it was extended to Catcliffe, Rotherham, by operator First.

Colin, of Causeway Head Road, Dore, said: “It seems as if when they have a problem the number 70 is the first to be dropped - the attitude seems to be that because it serves Dore posh people don’t need buses.”

In his letter to north east traffic commissioner Kevin Rooney, Mr Robinson highlighted incidents where passengers were left waiting and had to call taxis to get to their destination on time.

Mr Robinson wrote: “Every time you extend this service beyond Sheffield, it becomes quite awful.

“It is unreliable, unpunctual and an absolute disgrace of which First should be thoroughly ashamed.”

A meeting was held with First last year, with another review in March promised.

Dore and Totley Coun Colin Ross, who attended, said many people had complained about the service - which was vital as it passed schools and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

He said: “It is not a heavily used service but that is a self-fulfilling prophecy, the service is so bad people don’t want to use it. 
“It is a disgrace.”

First said a new timetable was to be introduced on the 70 service from the end of this month.

Peter Mair, Sheffield operations manager, said: “I’m very sorry to note Mr. Robinson’s concerns.

“We recognise the service reliability has been inconsistent and we’ve been working hard to manage the situation with our partners during testing circumstances such as tramworks along West Street and mains renewals at Catcliffe on Poplar Way as well as increased seasonal traffic.

“We’ve also been looking at longer term solutions and I’m pleased to confirm that we’ll be introducing a new timetable from the end of January which I am confident will significantly improve the reliability of service 70 for all our customers.”