'It's a disgrace' - Campaign launched for better bus services from north Sheffield to Meadowhall
Angry residents have branded a lack of bus services between north Sheffield and Meadowhall a 'disgrace' and are now campaigning for better links.
Nearly 30 people have signed a petition calling for transport chiefs to establish a direct route that goes from Chapeltown via Ecclesfield to Meadowhall.
Their calls for action have also been backed by a Labour councillor and an MP, who both blamed the lack of bus services on Tory-imposed funding cuts.
Adam Allcroft, who started the petition, said: "Currently, there is no bus link between the majority of north Sheffield and Meadowhall which is unacceptable.
"Meadowhall is a huge economic boon to Sheffield but the people of north Sheffield are unable to access it by bus. This limits people from the area being able to either go there for leisure or for work.
"A bus route from Chapeltown that goes to Meadowhall via Ecclesfield is essential for people who wish to work there and the fact it does not currently exist is a disgrace."
He added that while there are train links from Chapeltown to the shopping centre, this is out of bounds for many elderly people in Ecclesfield as it is a 30 plus minute walk up a large hill.
Steve Wilson, east Ecclesfield councillor and chair of the Sheffield north local area partnership, said he 'welcomed the petition' and added: "There used to be a bus which served Meadowhall from Chapeltown, unfortunately due to Tory Government cuts to Sheffield local transport allocation this service was axed."
Angela Smith, Penistone and Stocksbridge MP, said: "Of course I believe this service needs improving, along with many of the other services which have been cut over recent years.
"However, we have to remember the reason we have seen such a deterioration in bus services in Penistone and Stocksbridge is because of the Tory Governments cuts to Sheffield Council over the last seven years."
The petition has been launched on Sheffield Council's website and members of the public have until February 22 to sign it. It will then be considered by councillors and could be discussed at an upcoming council meeting.
A spokesperson for Meadowhall said: "Meadowhall has its own transport co-ordinator and we work closely with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to try to improve travel options for all our visitors.
"We would welcome anything that makes lives easier for shoppers and local residents and also supports our policies to encourage greener, sustainable, travel options for those visiting the centre.”
Ben Gilligan, director of public transport for SYPTE, said: "We’re happy to listen to all suggestions for new or revised services, not just in Ecclesfield but across Sheffield. Where direct routes are not available, we aim to coordinate services at Interchanges and along major corridors to maintain links, such as to Meadowhall. "At the moment, residents in Chapeltown, High Green and Ecclesfield can get to Meadowhall by using bus service 1/1a, which operates up to every six minutes, and change buses at Firth Park onto service 3/3a, which operates every 10 minutes to Meadowhall. Alternatively two trains per hour link Chapeltown and Meadowhall directly. "We recognise that customers would find it more convenient to have a direct bus service connecting these areas and we'd like to assure people that we continuously review our bus services to give customers the best travel options we can."