BUS SOS: We need support from passengers and politicians, say bus companies

Transport bosses say they need more support from passengers and politicians to improve bus services.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 4:41 pm
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 4:41 pm
Transport bosses say they need more support from passengers and politicians to improve bus services.

Both First and Stagecoach buses have come under fire for unreliable and cancelled services across the city including Walkley, Gleadless and High Green.

Three petitions with more than 600 signatures were handed in at a full council meeting after being collected by councillors and Louise Haigh MP.

Coun Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport, says he is as frustrated as passengers and has launched a new bus charter. He is asking Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis to intervene.

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But South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive says it is continuing to work to keep and improve services.

SYPTE executive director, Stephen Edwards, said: “Fewer passengers, increased running costs and reduced transport funding are continuing to put pressure on South Yorkshire’s bus network, leading to changes to local bus services from this September.

“We’ve worked hard with local bus companies to protect the network and minimise the impact on passengers, as far as is possible with the resources available. Some of the changes are designed to improve reliability and punctuality to give passengers a better experience.

“We have made sure, wherever possible, alternative transport links are available to passengers, maintaining essential economic and social connections across the region.

“Our buses need greater support from passengers and policy makers alike and we continue to work with key stakeholders, as well as operators across the region, to sustain and improve bus services.”

Coun Johnson says he only found out the 31 bus service at Walkley had been cut when a driver told him, despite being cabinet member for transport and a councillor in the area,

But Mr Edwards said SYPTE had a “formal, established process” for communicating information about service changes to councillors, MPs, community and special interest groups across South Yorkshire.

He added: “Stakeholders were informed by SYPTE of changes to bus services once they had been registered with the Traffic Commissioner.”