My lords, ladles and jellyspoons we are gathered here today in this hallowed bus stop, once a venue for weather reports and crying children to give the annual award, the “Mr R. Soul” memorial trophy, to the company that does nothing for the people of Sheffield.
And the nominations are First Mainline for their clueless and inept way they run the bus network here in the holy city of Sheffield.
In just one day they have reduced old people to tears and the vulnerable asking “where’s my bus?” The old people have been used to their appropriate route number for years, now suddenly it’s gone to be replaced by a brand new one, leaving them at bus stops waiting for their old number to turn up. The same goes for the vulnerable children and teenagers who attend special schools and workplaces. Their parents have had a hell of a time getting their children to recognise the old route number. This is a very hard task and now all the hard work has gone through the window and has to be started again.
First Mainline say “we publicised the changes well before the changeover”. They may have but I never saw any bumf on these changes. I did see “go to our website, blah,blah,blah”, but come on not everybody has a computer or is competent to use one.
First Mainline are also the winners in the “The Confuse a Pensioner Shield”. If you need to renew or have lost your bus pass, the simple way of doing it has gone. No more going to Pond Street or the Travel Centre near the Crucible and just asking for one.
No, that’s been snatched away from people, and you have to fill a form in and enclose a cheque. Who uses cheques today? Put it in an envelope and put it in the “drop box”, (I think some irk got £50 for coming up with an alternative name for letter box),in Pond Street, or you can renew on the phone, press one, to renew, press two, to report a lost pass, press three, if you’ve lost the will to live, the last option is the one I mostly use, or surprise, surprise, you can go online.
People of a certain age do not want to mess around with these three alternatives, they want to speak to a real live person who will answer your query and sort it out in five minutes.
The online option is a nightmare for the pensioners if they have basic idea on how to use the computer. You have to register with First travel, wait for a confirmation email, then you’re off into a “how do I do that” situation.
“George you’ve got to come and help me with this website.”
A reply comes from the garden. “I don’t know anything about spiders Lynn my dear.”
What proof are you going to send? The options are your passport number or a scanned copy of your birth certificate.
Mind you, if you can do that you are then asked to attach a passport photo of yourself.
If you are having to buy a lost bus pass, if you were not prudent enough to take out insurance, you have to put credit card details in.
I may be wrong but the people who qualify for the free bus pass, well I doubt they have credit cards as they only trust cash and quite rightly so. If you come out of this visual minefield you then click send and wait up to 10 days for your pass.
To me and the thousands of bus passengers, (not customers Mainline, customers have a choice to use or go for another form of transport, which we don’t have), know that the Dumbos who thought up this terrible upheaval for everyone do not and will never use the bus transport system.
Bring back the old Sheffield Transport please.
So I say, Oi! First Mainline, No, leave well enough alone, change the times in the day to every 20 minutes but don’t make people catch two or three buses when one was used before. Run them at peak times every 10 minutes.
I would like to know why the route numbers have been changed, 79 to 1, 48 to 1A, 47 to 56 etc.
Why? God love us, open the cage!
The Green Giant