A STAGGERING 1,650 people signed a petition protesting after a bus stop in Sheffield city centre was moved...by less than 100 yards.
Passengers using the 120 service to Fulwood put their names to the petition after transport chiefs swapped their stop opposite the Cathedral with the 52 stop on High Street, outside McDonalds.
They complain the High Street stop is cramped with no seats.
The petition is also objecting to the lack of a stop on the 120 close to the rail station.
People used to be able to catch the bus from a platform in the Transport Interchange, just across the road from the station, but now have to walk to Pond Street to a stop which has no shelter and is dimly-lit.
The petition over the 120 service, operated jointly by First and Stagecoach, was presented to a full meeting of Sheffield Council yesterday and will today be discussed at a meeting of transport chiefs.
The petition - the biggest brought to Sheffield Council for months - was presented by David Crossley, a retired Sheffield University academic who lives in Fulwood.
He said: “We have two issues. The stop on High Street is difficult or impossible for elderly people to use because there are no seats and the pavement is narrow.
“Also, First’s old service from the city centre to Fulwood used to run from the transport interchange providing an easy link for rail users to reach the university and hospital.
“The new 120’s closest stop to the rail station in that direction is on Pond Street, a further five minutes’ walk away, which causes problems.
“A lot of people using the Royal Hallamshire Hospital arrive by train but the new stop is now a 10-minute walk from the station. Elderly and disabled people and wheelchair users cannot easily reach the new stop - there is the distance, uneven pavements and the risks of users standing at the stop at night, which is ill-lit and insecure.
“Many now refuse to catch the bus and take taxis instead.”
Mr Crossley added further problems have also been raised by users of the service, including how long it takes buses to reach the rail station from Fulwood and the Hallamshire because the route around the city centre now goes from Pinstone Street back along Arundel Gate to the markets area before going down to the interchange.
“It can add up to 15 minutes to journeys,” he said.
Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “The Integrated Transport Authority is aware of these issues and myself and fellow members will be discussing them.
“The 120 is a complex route to make work.”
Coun Bramall said earlier complaints about lack of buses to the Westminster Estate at Lodge Moor when the 120 service was launched in July has been resolved and a service reinstated and he would ‘look to see if we can resolve these further problems’.