Bus bosses put the brakes on meetings with Sheffield councillors

Sheffield councillors have criticised transport bosses after they refused to meet them to discuss a problematic bus service.

Thursday, 25th October 2018, 11:32 am
Updated Thursday, 25th October 2018, 11:38 am
Stannington councillors have criticised bus bosses for not meeting with them

Stannington councillors Penny and David Baker have received a number of complaints about bus services in the area.

They wanted to meet with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) to discuss the problems but were staggered when bosses said they did not have the resources to meet elected representatives.

Lib Dem councillor Penny Baker said: 'The 81 and 82 buses go between Ecclesall and Stannington, which is in our ward, and we have had loads of complaints about missing buses and buses not completing their route and turning around at Malin Bridge.

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'Over time we emailed SYPTE but didn't get a satisfactory reply so we asked for a meeting and were told they do not have the resources. This is totally unacceptable.'

SYPTE originally emailed Coun Penny Baker and said: 'We have been advised that First do not have the resources to meet with individual members of the public and unfortunately even meeting local ward councillors is difficult with many councillors, parishes and MPs representing residents across the county.  We have had issues with their attendance at User Group meetings.

'If your constituents experience any further incidences whereby services 81/82 fail to operate, or do not operate to the advertised route or timetable, please advise them to either contact the operator directly or SYPTE.'

SYPT says councillors should speak to the Cabinet Member for Transport, Labour councillor Jack Scott.

Director of customer service, Tim Taylor, said: 'We welcome feedback and make every effort to listen and respond to the concerns of the travelling public.  

'Wherever possible, we will try to meet with councillors to discuss issues being raised by their constituents so we can work together to resolve problems and improve services.   

'We'd encourage all councillors to make the most of all the options available to them to share constituents' views on public transport, whether that be through their council Cabinet Member for Transport or one of our transport user forums.

'Our quarterly transport user group meetings bring together members of the public, councillors and operators' representatives, to enable them to raise issues.

'Councillors are welcome to attend any of these meetings and take the opportunity to discuss queries and concerns on behalf of their constituents.'

'As part of the Bus Partnership agreements, SYPTE also investigates any issue raised by MPs and councillors regarding public transport services on behalf of their constituents and work closely with operators to address them. And, of course, they can always contact operators directly.'

First buses have since agreed to meet Coun Baker. Brandon Jones, head of external relations at First South Yorkshire, said: 'We have arranged to meet with Coun Baker to discuss any concerns that have been raised by local residents.'