Row over ‘wasteful’ moving of bus stops

Hunters Bar Bus Shelter
Hunters Bar Bus Shelter
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TRANSPORT chiefs have been accused of ‘wasting’ public money by relocating bus stops just a few yards down the road - at a cost of thousands of pounds.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive says the work is necessary because of the number of buses using Ecclesall Road, meaning two or three sometimes pull up at bus stops at once, blocking traffic.

The two bus stops on Ecclesall Road are just after Hunters Bar, in the city centre direction, and near the junction of Ecclesall Road and Collegiate Crescent.

Residents, a businessman and former Sheffield Council leader Paul Scriven have criticised the work by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive near Hunters Bar, which comes as funding for local transport projects is being cut by 50 per cent over the coming year.

David Dann, who owns the S11 Boy fashion shop opposite the stop near Hunters Bar, said: “It’s just a waste of money - and has taken away a couple more parking spaces when life is difficult enough around here as it is.

“The charges for parking cause enough problems.

“I have a real problem with buses on Ecclesall Road. We have the bus lanes, which mean people can’t park at rush hour so harming trade - then you have buses parking up idling at stops during its operation, defeating the purpose of having the bus lane.

“We pay the highest business rates in Yorkshire and moving the bus stop has just made matters worse.”

Former council leader, Lib Dem Coun Paul Scriven, who represents the area, said: “I am surprised that what must have been thousands of pounds has been spent moving two bus stops just a few paces.

“Surely the cost, time and effort isn’t justified at a time of huge cuts.”

Resident John Dewey, who lives on Junction Road added: “What a waste of money - there are other things it could have been spent on.”

Another resident said: “Why should public money be spent to solve a problem caused by Ecclesall Road being flooded with too many buses for the number of passengers? Sometimes two or even three buses turn up when there are just a couple of people at a stop.”

But another resident said: “Moving the bus stops is justified because you used to have up to three buses stopping at Hunters Bar, the stop causes a traffic jam backing up to the other side of the roundabout.”

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive said the bus stops have been moved as part of the Ecclesall Road Smart Route project, which aims to speed up public transport and reduce congestion - and which was subject of public consultation.

Its spokesman said the previous locations of both bus stops meant that if more than one bus stopped, they would cause an obstruction.