Bus chiefs say that Sheffield services are ‘improving’ with more running on time after they were forced to make changes to drastic cuts following a public outcry.
Thousands of people signed a petition calling for the cuts to services across the city to be reversed, after they came in on November 1.
Sheffield Council then held a debate on the cuts which axed, rescheduled, reduced or renumbered dozens of services, creating long queues at stops, full buses, confused passengers and left residents unable to get to work.
Since then Sheffield Bus Partnership has brought in more double deckers to the network and 13 timetables have been revised with more changes expected in the coming weeks.
Now the bus partnership. made up of operators, Sheffield Council and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, has said that journeys are ‘improving following changes made in response to passenger feedback.’
Bus tracking data shows more services are running on time, and more double decker buses have been added to the network, it claims.
A Sheffield Bus Partnership spokesman said: “We are working hard as a partnership to make positive changes, feedback has been very encouraging and we continue to monitor our services closely.
“Using passenger comments and journey data recorded on-board, we have identified specific problems, altered timetables and introduced extra buses where needed as a direct result.
“We expect further timetable adjustments to better co-ordinate more journeys and, together with the changes already made, improve service delivery across the network overall.”
Timetable changes to better co-ordinate and improve the punctuality and reliability of services 3, 18, 18a, 20, 35, 38, 51, 75, 76, 85, 97, 98 and 785 took place on January 3.
Further adjustments to services 28, 40, 41 and 181 were made on 24 - 25 January, and planned changes to services 10/10a, 31/31a, and 32/32a will take placed between 30 January - 1 February and 1/1a, 7/8/8a, 24/25, 40/41, 52/52a, 56, 81/82, 83/83a, 86, 88, 120 and SL2 on 7 February, with the aim of delivering more improvements.
Stagecoach said its changes were based on analysis of ‘real time data’ and feedback from staff as well as customers.
Timetable alterations are being made on a number of Stagecoach services from Sunday 7 February to improve punctuality and reliability.
On service 86, the timetable has been revised to better coordinate with service 85. The 10.45pm Monday to Saturday journey from Lowedges to Parson Cross will continue to Chapeltown, Market Place arriving at 11.51pm.
Extra journeys are being added to service 1 around morning school times from Ecclesfield to High Green.
All SL2 services will call at the Malin Bridge Tram Stop, including those starting from Hillsborough.
Service 25 will be re-routed in Sheffield city centre to operate via Commercial Street on journeys towards Bradway, stopping opposite the Fitzalan Square tram stop.
Stagecoach said it had already introduced extra double deckers on to service 88.
Paul Lynch, managing director for Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “Feedback from our drivers and customers is always welcome and is at the heart of any changes we make to bus services.
“It is an ongoing process and we will continue to monitor the network to identify any other areas for improvement.”
Figures obtained by The Star earlier this month show that almost four times the amount of complaints were made by passengers after the cuts came in.
Passengers can check for changes to their service and plan their journey in advance online at travelsouthyorkshire.com/futurechanges, at bus stops, in Interchanges and via Traveline on 01709 51 51 51.