Letter: It appears no one is accountable for the unholy mess.

This letter sent to the Star was written by Barry Allen, Walkley

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 6:50 am
First buses

Now that Cyril Olsen and his entourage have got their Brexit dreams fulfilled and relinquished their monopoly of the letters page perhaps we can get down to some important stuff.

Anybody using First bus services in Sheffield will have been a victim of services reduced to almost non existent.

I use almost exclusively the 95 route to and from Walkley, so this is the only route I have first hand experience of, but from letters on this page and talking to other people I understand people who use other First routes are experiencing similar problems.

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The 95 bus is allegedly scheduled every 10 minutes during weekdays. Since the route was extended to go to Meadowhall (didn’t they have enough buses, trams and trains going there already), it is not unusual to wait 40 minutes for a bus, my personal record being 55 minutes.

A side effect of serially late buses is passengers rammed sardine style onto the bus when it finally turned up, with people at bus stops unable to get on because there is no room

When trying to get to the bottom of what was happening, emails to First were ignored, requests for information by email from the transport executive were forwarded to First, who, guess what, ignored them.

Emails to councillors were similarly ignored. So it appears no one is accountable for the unholy mess.

First has published a letter apologising for all their shortcomings. They blame everything from the wet weather to a bankruptcy involving their spare parts supplier and not having enough drivers.

This doesn’t wash. Stagecoach routes don’t appear to be affected.

It seems to be a case of First protecting their profits. It is a huge company that could easily have hired whole fleets of buses to cover any problems they had with their own buses, but that would affect their profits.

The transport executive paid £7.1 million plus change in subsidies to bus operators in South Yorkshire last year, the bulk of which probably went to First as the largest operator.

To register your anger, email [email protected] It just happens to belong to the CEO of the whole First group.

I suspect that if enough people email him he’ll soon make things happen.