Sheffield’s bus services are getting better and better – with more arriving on time, fewer customer complaints and rising passenger numbers.
Nine out of 10 buses now run punctually to their timetables, according to figures compiled by the city’s new transport partnership.
Punctuality of buses is defined as those which turn up less than a minute early or fewer than five minutes late.
Reliability of services is even better, at almost 99 per cent – which means buses complete their journeys when they are supposed to, in full or at least in part.
Statistics have been compiled by the Sheffield Bus Partnership, launched a year ago next month.
It brought together leading bus companies First and Stagecoach, the council, Sheffield Community Transport and the county’s Passenger Transport Executive to improve services and increase passenger numbers.
The partnership says more reliable services has made for more satisfied passengers – the number of complaints has fallen by 30 per cent over the last year.
And more people are travelling by bus too – journey numbers went up by five per cent in the last three months.
There are also 14 per cent more adult fare-paying customers than last year.
Further investment in Sheffield’s bus network and roads begins in January, including improved bus stops with more real-time information and improvements for all traffic at key junctions.
The work is expected to reduce delays and increase punctuality even further.
Passengers in the city centre mostly backed the partnership’s statistics.
Susan Waple, aged 47, from Fulwood said: “I have definitely noticed an improvement.
“At my local bus stop they have an electronic sign up saying how long the next bus is going to be and I’ve noticed that, since they’ve had those times up, they do seem to stick to them. Plus if it says it’s running three minutes late, at least I know how long I’m going to be waiting.”
Sam Higgins, 17, from Walkley, said he caught buses at least twice a day to get to work and back.
“Mine are pretty good, they run every 10 minutes and are usually there exactly when they say they will be.
“The one I’ve noticed is a real problem is the 120, it’s ridiculous! I have trouble every single time I go to catch it. Three in a row don’t come, and then they’ll all show up at once.”
David Young, for the Passenger Transport Executive, said: “After less than a year in operation there are already significant improvements to the punctuality and reliability of the city’s bus services, and our customers are more satisfied as a direct result.”
Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “We are leading the country with this initiative, which has delivered real improvements in reliability, punctuality, customer satisfaction and patronage, whilst complaints have fallen 30 per cent.
“Alongside the reductions in prices for many weekly and monthly tickets, it’s clear that the partnership has so far been a success. It’s important that we build on this to ensure we deliver a first class bus service.”