Steph Wilson, a senior support worker at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, says the lack of Stagecoach services in the new year due to an ongoing pay dispute is causing more people to cram onto less buses at a time where Sheffield’s infection rate is severely high already.
To illustrate her point, she took a picture of her morning commute on Monday, January 10 on the reduced No 120 service, showing dozens of people standing shoulder to shoulder on a crammed double decker at 7.55am.
Steph said: “It was that busy you couldn’t move.
“First, we were all waiting for a bus that never showed up, then half an hour later one turned up – by then I was already late for work, and you have to make the time up.
“It’s one of the main routes to the hospital.
“We were crammed in there like battery hens. No one was wearing masks, no one could social distance. Then the staff who have to take this crammed bus have to go into the hospital and look after immunocompromised people.
“The strike couldn’t come at a worse time, to be honest.
“No wonder it’s spreading so quickly.”
The 120 Halfway – Fullwood is one of many services running a reduced service during the ongoing Stagecoach strike, alongside many that have been cancelled.
More than 560 bus drivers across South Yorkshire have walked out over a pay dispute with the firm. They began indefinite strike action on January 2, after also refusing to drive for two separate weeks in December.
The strike will reportedly be suspended on Wednesday for the Rotherham and Barnsley depots while members of the Unite trade union vote on a new pay offer from Stagecoach.
The firm says it is also entering talks with Sheffield’s staff as of January 11, mediated by the arbitration service ACAS.
The ongoing strike has led to dozens of services across South Yorkshire being cancelled, affecting tens of thousands of people.
Unite regional officer Phil Brown said: “There will be no suspension of strike action in Sheffield until an offer is put forward that our members could find acceptable.”