Bus passengers in Sheffield concerned over wave of temporary changes to deal with driver shortage
Concerned parents say they are losing the bus their children get to school under plans to revamp Sheffield’s services due because of driver shortages.
Operator First, which runs services all across the city, has revealed it is planning a wave of temporary changes from the end of this month as it tries to deal with a lack of drivers which is currently affecting the industry.
But mums of pupils attending Valley Park School, Gleadless, fear it will cut them off and leave them facing a 30 minute walk with their youngsters to get them into lessons.
Worried mum Tracy Nicklin said she was among those concerned over the plans, which will see the number 11 service suspended.
She said it would leave families living along Blackstock Road and its adjacent estates without a service that would take them to the school.
She said: “We could walk, but it’s going to take half an hour. The main problem with this is that no one is going to be able to get to school if they take that bus off.
“You can fill a double decker bus on that route in the morning. Also, I don’t know how older people in the area are going to manage without that bus.
"This is going to cut off a massive estate.”
Rob Hughes, operations director at First South Yorkshire said: "From October 31 we are introducing some temporary changes to some of our services in line with the driver shortage situation that we have communicated over recent weeks.
“Our 11A service is being renumbered ‘1A’ and will have some slight changes introduced to the route. Unfortunately our 11 service is being temporarily suspended between the City, Hemsworth and Herdings. However, we are looking into the feasibility of diverting a couple of ‘1A’ journeys to serve Valley Park School at the appropriate times.
“People travelling from Raeburn Road and Constable Road areas to and from Blackstock Road will be able to travel on our revised ‘1A’ service and then link up with Stagecoach’s Service ‘1’ operating a 15 minute frequency along Blackstock Road.
“We are trying our very best to allocate services where demand is greatest whilst we work through the driver shortage situation and we realise some people will be temporarily inconvenienced for which we apologise.”
Below are all the planned changes to First bus services in Sheffield from October 31.
8/8a: Ecclesfield - Crystal Peaks
This will still be running every 30 minutes but to a new timetable.
11: Chapeltown - city - Herdings
11a: Chapeltown – city - Herdings
These services are being combined, with a new route number, 1a, and will operate between Chapeltown – City - Herdings. Buses will run every 20 minutes.
They will no longer serve Blackstock Road, with customers for that destination instead advised to use Stagecoach route 1. From Herdings, buses will also serve Constable Road and Raeburn Road.
Route 11 journeys between Ecclesfield School and High Green will be replaced by school service 728.
24: Woodhouse – city – Low Edges (& Bradway)
This service will still be operating every 20 minutes, but with a new timetable.
51: Lodge Moor – Charnock
This will now run every 15 minutes.
52a: Woodhouse – city - Wisewood or Loxley
This will now operate every 15 minutes, with Wisewood/Loxley being served every 30 minutes.
56: Nether Edge – city – Wybourn
This will now run every 20 minutes.
75: Batemoor or Jordanthorpe – city - Shiregreen
76: Lowedges – city - Shiregreen
76a: Lowedges – city – Shiregreen
Routes 75/76 will operate about every eight minutes between Firth Park and Woodseats.
On route 75, Batemoor/Jordanthorpe will each be served every 15 minutes.
On route 76, Lowedges will be served every 15 minutes.
On the Shiregreen loop, buses will operate every 15 minutes in each direction.
Route 76a will now be a separate service, operating hourly between city and Chancet Wood only.
81: Stannington – city - Dore
82: Hall Park Head – city – Millhouses
Each service will now operate every 30 minutes, with buses running every 15 minutes between Stanwood Ave/Stannington Road and Ecclesall Road/ Carter Knowle Road.
95/95a: Walkley – city – Meadowhall
This will be operating up to every 15 minutes.
Newton Road/Barrow Road (route 95) will operate every 30 minutes.
Sandstone Road/Jenkin Road (route 95a) will operate every 30 minutes.
120: Halfway – Fulwood
This will now operate every 15 minutes.