THE STAR SAYS: Bus cut rethink does not go far enough

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It’s a bit like trying to catch the number 1A - you hang around for ages waiting for one bus service review to turn up, and then several come all at once...

On November 1, transport chiefs reviewed the city’s bus services, bringing sweeping changes - and busloads of chaos - to the city’s public transport system.

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We’ve reported the confusion and fury which the new timetables caused among the people of Sheffield - with 11,000 of them signing a petition calling for bus bosses to do a complete U-turn.

Thankfully, it looks like that people power has finally paid off.

In reposnse to public anger, this week chiefs agreed a second review of services

Coun Terry Fox, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for transport, said after the latest meeting that ‘at least’ 25 double deckers had been introduced to replace single decker buses in a bid to reduce overcrowding and drivers had been given extra training when required to ensure they knew new routes.

Hats off to the council for listening and for being big enough to accept that things have to change.

It’s a great start, but as we report on our front page, Sheffield’s bus passengers just don’t think that it goes far enough. Nor do we.

The Partnership says that after a bumpy start, the punctuality of buses has been improving and that the number of passenger complaints has fallen back to levels normally expected at this time of year.

Which can only lead you to think their customer services department must get a sackload of complaints EVERY November.

We’ll obviously have to wait and see if the extra double deckers do make a difference, or if passegers will still be crammed on like sardines or unable to get on at all.

Making sure drivers actually know where they are goingand providing enough seats for their passengers is a pretty good way to improve things.

But clearly the problems are much deeper than that - what about those people who can’t get to visit their loved ones now services have been withdrawn?

Maybe those in charge of the Sheffield Bus Partnership should consider joining the grumbling queues and try the new bus services for themselves.

Their new improvements can only be welcomed, but just like the number 120 service, the changes only go Halfway. They need to go much, much further.