THE STAR SAYS: This is not the last stop for bus cuts saga

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Four months after Sheffield’s bus network was turned upside down by the biggest cuts it has ever seen - and you only have to read The Star’s letters page to see how much of an impact they still have.

One would hope that transport chiefs, today heading to a crunch meeting to discuss the chaos and what has been done to improve it, will take heed of the problems passengers are still experiencing, and have been on a daily basis since November.

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BUS CHAOS: Passengers still calling for ‘real change’ as transport chiefs meet over Sheffield cuts

These are the services that people rely on - to get to work, hospital, school, to buy food and meet friends - they are a lifeline for many.

Not everyone has the luxury of a car to fall back on.

Many of those that do, however, have voted with their feet and gone back to them rather than waiting for buses that don’t turn up, or simply sail past because they are full to the brim.

That’s bad news for air pollution and congestion - both already major issues in Sheffield.

One letter received by The Star this week said that the reader’s family made around 34 journeys a week on the much-criticised number 10 service.

Their journeys are now down to around ten a week, mainly due to drivers cutting their routes short because the service was running so late.

“I now seldom go out as I could do without the hassle”, said the reader.

Heartbreaking words, and ones that will inspire our continuing campaign to sort out the bus cut saga.

Sheffield Bus Partnership insists that the situation has improved to the extent that 90 per cent of all journeys are on time.

It is likely that operators will stress this today in the long-awaited meeting.

But it is not just about punctuality.

Is a bus service good when there is only one bus per hour - even though it might possibly be on time?

And can you rely on it to get to work when it is usually packed to the rafters, so much so that people are standing on the stairs of double deckers, in a highly dangerous but desperate attempt to finally, finally, get home.

Even if it is - possibly - on time.

The answer, unsurprisingly, is no.

So while members of the bus partnership may be hoping that today’s meeting spells the end of the city-wide disaster, they are wrong.

As Greenhill mum Joanne Lumley, who set up the petition calling for the cuts to be reversed, says: ““What I want to see is a clear message from them saying, ‘we got it wrong,’ and for them to start again.”

The Star will continue to listen, and reflect, passengers’ views . Let’s hope the bus chiefs can do the same as well.