Huge majority back calls for the FreeBee bus to return to Sheffield

A huge majority want a free electric bus on a 10-minute loop around Sheffield city centre, a survey shows.

By David Walsh
Monday, 7th June 2021, 1:31 pm

Some 85.2 per cent were in favour of the service in a poll by @HelpSheffield on Twitter. Some 351 votes were cast.

The Star is campaigning for a return of the FreeBee to compensate bus passengers after Pinstone Street was closed to traffic and stops for 27 services moved a quarter of a mile away.

@HelpSheffield asked: ‘Would you welcome/use a free electric bus that had various stops around the city centre running every 10 minutes for 12 hours per day?’

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Coun Bryan Lodge launches the FreeBee service in October 2007

Ellen said: ‘Would be good for the disabled, elderly, pregnant women’.

Coun Douglas Johnson, the leader of the Greens in Sheffield, responded: ‘Yes indeed. Access is very much an equality issue. It shouldn't be just about who can afford their own car’.

Paul Hopwood said: ‘No. It’s less environmentally friendly than walking’.

@HelpSheffield responded: ‘Not everyone is able to walk the full breadth and width of the city centre but might like to get from A to B’.

Emma said: ‘I’m someone who likes shopping in the city centre but I have fibromyalgia so my energy is limited.

‘It would be great to have a free bus service to help me to get around. I support the push to make the city centre more pedestrian friendly’.

Heather Reid added: ‘Same for me, had fibromyalgia since 1986 and walking round town has become more and more painful over the years. Impossible now for me to get from Moorfoot to Pinstone Street. Glad the market is on Moor’.

Derek Gold said he voted for a free service in the poll.

He added: ‘I voted yes, but then I never used the FreeBee we used to have. It was just never where I was and I had no idea about its route or timings’.

The Greens and Lib Dems have supported the return of a FreeBee for several years.

Last week the Lib Dems urged the Greens to relaunch a FreeBee after they won cabinet seats in a power sharing deal with Labour.

Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of the Lib Dems in Sheffield, said following their success in the local elections last month, it was time to deliver.

The Greens have three councillors in the cabinet and Labour seven.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.