Why are two bus companies operating similar schedule?

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Ralph Godbhere of Meadowhead was quite correct in his letter (Star, April 28) about First bus services being scheduled every 10 minutes, but if you stand in High Street outside Natwest you will see they are much more frequent.

Buses, particularly on the 75 route, arrive every three or four minutes, often in pairs, preceded or followed almost immediately by a 76. There are insufficient people to fill them which is why they run almost empty. A similar situation exists with the 52 and 120 buses. Why on earth we need two bus companies operating a similar schedule on these routes I shall never understand.

Unfortunately, Mr Godbhere’s allegations about the 97 and 98 routes to Totley and Totley Brook are incorrect.

For more than 30 years the buses to these destinations have been almost totally unreliable and show no signs of improving.

For a number of years in March buses used to be missing only to return to semi-reliability in May after the local elections, but in May 2012 this did not happen and we were lucky if we got one bus per hour on each route. Complaints to the PTE were met with a letter saying that as the buses were not subsidised the PTE could do nothing and they were forwarding the complaint to First. On the rare occasions that First replied they simply said that the bus had broken down and that they were trying to improve the situation.

In November 2012 a strong letter to the PTE assistant director, or whatever he calls himself, prompted a reply saying that the times and reliability of these buses would change the following January (2013) when the timetable was being revised to “improve reliability”. It did improve for a short time, then we went back to the same situation of buses missing which is still happening every day.

Michael Hodgson