Sheffield MP demands urgent talks over fresh round of bus cuts

A First bus
A First bus
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A Sheffield MP has demanded urgent talks with bus bosses after a fresh round of service cuts and shake-ups.

South East MP Clive Betts, has reacted angrily to the news buses serving parts of Tinsley are to be scaled back from three to one an hour.

Bus services.

Bus services.

A new X1 service will not serve a large majority of the Tinsley area where a previous bus route did.

Mr Betts claims residents will be left ‘isolated’ and cut off’ as a result of the changes.

The news comes from a fresh shake-up of timetables and routes which will come into force on September 4 alongside cuts to Sheffield Catholic school bus services.

In another twist, 1,300 of Sheffield and South Yorkshire First Bus drivers are threatening strike action over pay and conditions which could cause even more disruption.

MP Clive Betts

MP Clive Betts

First Bus responded with ‘surprise’ at the announcement and ‘do not recognise’ the points Unite has made. The Star understands bus chiefs hope to meet union bosses to negotiate.

It’s less than 12 months on from huge public anger, confusion and protest over city-wide scale cuts, packed buses and timetable changes with poor consultation.

Mr Betts said the Sheffield Bus Partnership model, means the bus operators make the decisions with the council getting the blame from passengers.

The SBP consists of Sheffield Council, bus operators such as First and Stagecoach and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Mr Betts said: “We appear to have a much lauded bus partnership which actually means that the bus operators make the decisions and the councils get the blame.

“What the SYPTE failed to say is that Tinsley Highgate is not going to be served by the new X1 service between Sheffield, Rotherham and Maltby.

“Instead of getting a bus every 20 minutes – as provided by the current service – residents will now get one bus every hour. The new route is also much longer and will significantly increase journey times.

“Now they have three buses an hour. Instead residents will get one bus an hour which will take twice as long to reach the destination. This will have a dramatic effect on the community

“Ever since the big investment in the road changes for the new X1 service were announced, local people have been trying – without success – to find out about the knock-on consequences for communities along that route. Now we know. The consequences are dramatic.

“It’s not acceptable for SYPTE to do this. I’m asking for urgent talks between the SYPTE, councillors and residents.”

Greenhill mum Joanne Lumley set a petition which had over 12,500 signatures calling on the bus changes back in November to be reversed.

She said the new changes confirmed her fears from a meeting with bus bosses and council chiefs back in September.

“These new changes have answered a question that I asked a few months ago. I asked if they could guarantee no further cuts would take place after last November.

“They knew this was going to happen - they told us numbers were falling so they claim services are not making money but it still affects lots of people.”

A SYPTE spokesperson said: “The new X1 Bus Rapid Transit North project, which is being delivered by SYPTE, Rotherham Council and Sheffield City Council, will provide a high quality and efficient public transport service between the centres of Rotherham and Sheffield, and offer essential congestion relief for traffic.

“A number of bus route changes are planned in early September to coincide with the introduction of the new service X1 and the opening of the new Tinsley highway link. While the X1 will partially replace services 1, 2 and 69, we recognise that changes in Tinsley mean some residents at Highgate/St Lawrence Road do not have the same frequency connections to Sheffield. We are working together with project partners and bus operators, and listening to local community concerns to consider a solution.”

Notable changes

TM Travel and SCT service 32– Morning peak hour journeys will no longer operate into Kilner Way to improve punctuality.

First service 35- revised timetable will see buses running hourly on all sections of the route. Additional buses between Sheffield and Meadowhall via Wincobank will be provided on new service 70. This will maintain the two buses per hour on this section of route and increase the number of buses between Wincobank and Meadowhall.

First service 38 and new 38a- Changes to the timetable. Some journeys renumbered 38a and will operate direct along Herries Drive instead of Longley Estate as a result of customer feedback.

First service 69 – replaced by new service X1 operating every 10 minutes between Rotherham and Sheffield via Tinsley and Meadowhall. Also see new service 70 and revised service 71.

First service 70- One journey per hour on service 71 renumbered 70. Service 70 will operate between Rotherham, Brinsworth and Meadowhall via St Lawrence Road towards Sheffield and back via Bawtry Road towards Rotherham. This service will not serve Europa Link/Shepcote Lane. From Meadowhall service 70 will operate into Sheffield via the 35 route replacing the Wincobank to City service 35 journeys.

First service 71– Revised route operating hourly via Tinsley Park, Shepcote Lane and Tinsley Highgate to Meadowhall.

First service 81/82- Buses that operate via the Millhouses loop will do so in the opposite direction. Buses will call into Ecclesall, Knowle Lane terminus on the way into City. This change is as a result of feedback from customers and drivers.

First service X1 - New service operating between Sheffield and Maltby. From Sheffield via Attercliffe, Carbrook, Meadowhall, Tinsley, Templeborough, Rotherham, Stag, Brecks, Wickersley, Bramley and Hellaby to Maltby.

Minor changes

Stagecoach service 1– Minor timetable changes to improve punctuality.

SCT and Stagecoach 31/31a– Revised timetable with journeys to Loxley no longer calling in at Hillsborough Interchange to improve punctuality. Some timetable changes, Saturday journeys being operated by Stagecoach instead of SCT.

Service 52- Minor timetable changes to improve punctuality following highway changes at Sheffield University.

First service 72/72a– Minor timetable changes to improve punctuality.

Stagecoach service 86– Minor timetable changes to improve punctuality.

Possible service 120- minor timetable changes to improve punctuality following highway changes at Sheffield University.

First Service 216/X5/X55- changes to outbound departures early morning Mon-Fri. Sunday daytime journeys will no longer operate to/from Monksbridge Farm in Dinnington.

Hulleys service M17– Service rerouted to operate via Greenhill Parkway instead of Lowedges Road and Gervase Road following customer requests.

First/Powells service X13- Service X13 will be renumbered X3. Towards Sheffield serves St Lawrence Road in Tinsley. Route remains unchanged toward Rotherham via Vulcan Road, Sheffield Road and Bawtry Road. One extra journey added in each direction.