A SHEFFIELD bus route at the centre of long-standing complaints is to be axed and replaced with new services in a bid to improve punctuality and reliability.
First has received repeated complaints about the unreliability of services 45 and 46, which run between the city centre, Meadowhall, Wincobank then either Firth Park or Hillsborough.
Residents on the route have also presented two petitions to Sheffield Council calling for the journey to be improved.
From January 30, the 45 and 46 will be replaced with a new service 36, running from Sheffield city centre to Sandstone Road, Wincobank, Firth Park and the Northern General Hospital.
There will also be a circular service from the city centre to Wincobank, Shirecliffe, Hillsborough and back to the city centre, numbered 35 out of the city centre towards Meadowhall and back via Hillsborough, and 37 in the opposite direction.
The new circular route bus will also replace service 72, between the city centre and Shirecliffe.
Buses 35, 36 and 37 will run half-hourly Monday to Saturday daytimes, and hourly in the evenings and on Sundays.
Shiregreen and Brightside Labour Coun Peter Price said: "The bus service through Wincobank has been terrible and I've had numerous complaints. It's been one of the biggest issues in the area for a while. If this is an attempt to address the issues, it's most welcome - but we'll have to see if it works."
Burngreave Labour Coun Ibrar Hussain welcomed the inclusion of Shirecliffe in the circular service.
He said: "Everyone in the area is delighted. We have been wanting to get a service up and running from Shirecliffe to Hillsborough and the city centre for a long time now."
First South Yorkshire said the changes are as a result of customer feedback and a punctuality review.
Deputy managing director Brandon Jones said: "They are positive changes that will help us improve our journey times as well as our service reliability, which can be affected by traffic congestion in busy areas. This in turn will allow us to build on our recent announcement to freeze our fares in the area and look to grow the number of people travelling on our buses."
First is not cutting any other services. The only other major changes are an improvement to service 40 between the city centre and Fulwood, which will run every 15 instead of every 20 minutes on Sundays, and service 73, which will now run on Cooks Wood Road, Burngreave, rather than Firshill Crescent, to speed up journey times. Other routes have minor timetable alterations.
Meanwhile, rival firm Stagecoach has launched Sunday journeys running every 15 minutes between 8am and 6.30pm on services 52, between Woodhouse, city centre, Crookes and Hillsborough, and the 120, between Halfway and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
One bus each half hour will continue to Fulwood and Lodge Moor
There will also be two additional journeys on the 265 Sheffield to Chapeltown to Barnsley service, plus timetable changes to improve punctuality on services including the 43, 44 and 44A Sheffield to Dronfield and Chesterfield and the X17 linking Sheffield with Matlock.
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