Editor: Stop dreaming of car-free Christmas and take action

Let me start by saying I completely agree that we need to get people out of their cars, that this city grinds to a halt because traffic is so bad and there are many areas including the city centre which would be nicer places without vehicles.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 6:40 am
Traffic on Chesterfield Road, Woodseats

But then I do not have a disability and I'm not trying to run a business based on the dream that making things difficult for drivers will bring more shoppers into town.

This is where I struggle with the concept, as created in Sheffield.

Our public transport is so utterly rubbish, that has to be the number one, top-of-the-pile priority.

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Nothing will improve until every last drop of our politicians' energy goes into sorting that mess out. Then, please, bring us your innovative ideas for giving buses priority and creating a less polluted, more welcoming city centre. Tackle Ecclesall Road, Abbeydale Road, town… the whole city.

Until then, all we are getting is policy that achieves nothing more than driving divisions across our city and pushing more independent businesses over the edge. It cost me £2.10 for a short bus ride along Chesterfield Road and into town last week.

I felt ripped off and didn’t even have the kids with me. The bus was nowhere near full, it was late and the service before it didn't show up. Where is the incentive to get out of our cars? What gets me most frustrated is that this is something that we can control right here in South Yorkshire. The Government, after systematically destroying the legacy of our 1980s buses, says we can have control back... yet we're not even moving in that direction.

We all want to save the planet, we all want to support our city centre and we all want to be proud of doing things differently but this back-to-front approach is making a laughing stock of those who have the power to bring change but clearly don't have the will or the guts to do it.

Every politician in this city should be marching on Downing Street (or maybe just working together on a bid that can't be refused) to demand Supertram is extended and our buses are improved.

Until then it seems divisive policies are the order of the day and our only hope of better buses is putting it on our list for Father Christmas. He seems reliable...