Calls for public meeting in row over lack of bus services to proposed Sheffield GP surgery

Campaigners fighting for improved bus services when two GP surgeries relocate have called for transport bosses to hold a public meeting.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh has written to Stephen Edwards, executive director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, after claiming it failed to listen to patients of Meadowgreen Surgery as part of a consultation on the route of the M17 service.

Jordanthorpe Health Centre.

Jordanthorpe Health Centre.

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Meadowgreen Health Centre announced plans to close its surgery on School Lane, Greenhill, and site on Lowedges Road and run the practices within Jordanthorpe Health Centre – more than a mile away.

Ms Haigh said the move would leave patients in Lowedges without a regular direct bus service and her letter has been co-signed by the health centre, Terminus Initiative community centre and Lowedges, Batemore and Jordanthorpe Community Forum.

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Meadowgreen Health Centre, Old School site, School Lane.

Meadowgreen Health Centre, Old School site, School Lane.

The MP said she had also raised the issue with the Government and called for a new law that would require transport authorities to provide transport to health services.

She said: “The passenger authority is letting down people in Lowedges who need access to their GP.

“Our privatised, deregulated, and fragmented bus system means that companies often put profit before the provision of a good public service.

“The failure to provide adequate bus services has significant knock-on effects for people’s quality of life as many of us rely on public transport to access health, education, and leisure services.

Louise Haigh, Sheffield Heeley MP

Louise Haigh, Sheffield Heeley MP

“We need to totally redesign our public transport system to ensure that buses serve the needs of our communities.”

Meadowgreen patient Deborah Fox, of Lupton Road, said: "The commute is the biggest concern. I am asthmatic and if I have an attack I can sometimes struggle to get to the two sites now so I honestly don't know what I'd do if they closed.

"But there are people who are in a far worse situation than me. There are a lot elderly people who live around here so these plans are literally isolating people."

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Meadowgreen Health Centre, Lowedges site.

Meadowgreen Health Centre, Lowedges site.

Partners at the health centre said the moves were necessary as the current premises were 'becoming unfit for the purpose of providing modern day GP services'.

Tim Taylor, director of customer services at SYPTE, said: “SYPTE encourages feedback and is always open to dialogue.

“We welcome Louise Haigh’s commitment to ensuring good quality bus services are available for her constituents. We have received the letter from Ms Haigh to Stephen Edwards and will respond directly to her to discuss these concerns.”

Deborah Fox.

Deborah Fox.