Sheffield bus services ‘improving’ after chaotic cuts, passengers told

Bus timetable and route changes cause chaos for travellers in Sheffield'Picture Dean Atkins

Bus timetable and route changes cause chaos for travellers in Sheffield'Picture Dean Atkins

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Bus chiefs say Sheffield services are ‘improving’ with more running on time after they were forced to make changes to drastic cuts following a public outcry.

Thousands of people signed a petition calling for the cuts to services across the city to be reversed, after they came in on November 1.

Sheffield Council then held a debate on the cuts which axed, rescheduled, reduced or renumbered dozens of services, creating long queues at stops, full buses, confused passengers and left residents unable to get to work.

Since then Sheffield Bus Partnership has brought in more double deckers to the network and 13 timetables have been revised – with more changes expected in the coming weeks.

Now the bus partnership, made up of operators, Sheffield Council and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, has said journeys are ‘improving following changes made in response to passenger feedback’.

Bus tracking data shows more services are running on time and more double decker buses have been added to the network, it claims.

A Sheffield Bus Partnership spokesman said: “We are working hard as a partnership to make positive changes, feedback has been very encouraging and we continue to monitor our services closely.

“Using passenger comments and journey data recorded on-board, we have identified specific problems, altered timetables and introduced extra buses where needed as a direct result.

“We expect further timetable adjustments to better co-ordinate more journeys and, together with the changes already made, improve service delivery across the network overall.”

Changes to 13 bus services took place on January 3, another four were made last week and six more are to be completed by Monday.

On Sunday, February 7, there will be changes to the 1/1a, 7/8/8a, 24/25, 40/41, 52/52a, 56, 81/82, 83/83a, 86, 88, 120 and SL2 with the aim of more improvements.

Stagecoach said its changes were based on analysis of ‘real time data’ and feedback from staff as well as customers.

Paul Lynch, managing director for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “Feedback from our drivers and customers is always welcome and is at the heart of any changes we make to bus services.

“It is an ongoing process and we will continue to monitor the network to identify any other areas for improvement.”

But sceptical passengers have said they are yet to see improvements.

Mark Batham said: “Abbeydale Road a shambles. I can catch five buses back to town. None of them come on time, thus I always miss my connecting bus.”

Rachel Kennedy said: “The 24 is overcrowded. Always late and takes an hour to get to town from Richmond.”

Rob Marston said: “It is still random on the 80s routes along Ecclesall Road.”

Gavin Walker said: “All bus users should gather outside the offices responsible for this in total silence. Stand, look up towards the building and then gently ease into a 12-hour rendition of ‘World of Pure Imagination’ from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory aimed at the bosses.”

Passengers can check for changes to their service and plan their journey in advance online at travelsouthyorkshire.com/futurechanges, at bus stops, in Interchanges and via Traveline on 01709 51 51 51.

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