Opinion: Fare-raising bonanza and cuts to services

This letter sent to the Star was written by Graham Jones, Burngreave Clean Air Campaign, Scott Road, S4

By Reader Letter
Wednesday, 22 May, 2019, 10:46
Sheffield buses

Over the past few months multinational bus companies, First and Stagecoach, have had a fare raising bonanza in South Yorkshire.

Now, beginning on May 26, they are introducing service cuts to many routes, including some crossing Burngreave.

The timetables on the Travel South Yorkshire Transport website invidiously describes these cuts as “Minor timetable changes” but these cuts will entail reducing daytime service frequency by up to a third.

Stagecoach have told me that these changes are for the summer period only. But these cuts represent a pernicious change in the definition of “Summer” which for the bus companies ran previously for the duration of the summer school holiday but this year is increased by two months to stretch from May 26.

We can expect longer waits for buses and more crowded buses resulting in increased stress for passengers and drivers alike.

Such a deterioration in the bus service will result in more people travelling by car which will worsen our already illegal levels of air pollution in many parts of Sheffield.

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We are pleased to see the tend towards lower emission buses.

Stagecoach claim that these cuts are necessary “to ensure the long term sustainability of the network”.

I would contend that they will drive more people away from the buses which have been losing passengers for many years due partially to increased fares, overcrowding and unreliable services.

It is time that buses were taken back under local public control in order to provide a service working in the interests of the passengers, the staff and the environment.

Buses are the way forward! Please don’t cut them!