Sheffield buses: City 'now playing catch-up' - reader's letter

I recently responded to the consultation named Connecting Sheffield: Ecclesall and Abbeydale Roads – it felt like a misnomer as it certainly isn’t connecting them to each other.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 3:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 3:48 pm
Sheffield buses are not up to scratch according to this reader

While the survey seems to want to focus on ‘journey times’, this ended up being the gist of my response:

Journey times are not the issue! A decent, regular, prolific and cheap bus service is key to getting people out of their cars. You forget we are built on seven hills and not everyone can walk, cycle or scoot 100m! Never mind doing all the chores and fetching and carrying (of things, not people) that modern life requires, which is difficult to do on buses.

I only say buses because there are no trams within 1.5m of where I live and work, similarly experienced by half the city's population with a greater distance.

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I am not bothered about bus journey times, I am bothered about frequency and regularity, about being able to use as few buses as possible to cross the hills to work, about not having to go into a dead city centre and back out again.

There are no or very few 'nippers' (aka circulars) around the city, that take us from one district shopping centre to another. This is because our buses are in private hands; it is no longer a service. As an aside: our huge double deckers are hardly fit for purpose, chugging up our hills with two to 20 people on them, time to rethink them.

Overall, your (SCC's) plans for Sheffield' s transport are sticking plasters, tinkering around the edges. You need to be brave in vision and demand more money for levelling up the transport requirements of our region with those £s given to London.

You need to have radical plans to reinvent our transport networks, because soon we'll have got this carbon emission thing sussed (electric/hydrogen cars etc.) but we will still have a shortage of surface area to travel on, narrow meandering streets and there will still be seven hills; but, we will have an increased population - ergo more cars on the road (just not emitting greenhouse gases) if public transport is not prolific - and journey times will be the same as 2021 or worse.

The time is now, not down the line. Your plans are not bold enough to make any substantial change apart from inconveniencing thousands of residents and visitors.

While reducing CO2 in the short run is noble, so much more can probably be done for a 2030 vision with the £millions that you are probably getting all for a few tweaks.

Plus, we still need a docked bicycle network. Sheffield: now playing catch-up.

S Cockayne

Hunter's Bar