Sheffield better transport call as bus user says poor service leaves people stranded

Sheffield Council has made a call for a better city transport system as one bus user described how service cuts have left people stranded without access to doctors and other services.
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Glenda Walker, who lives in Chancet Wood, told a city council meeting (September 6) that the 76a bus service has worsened significantly since TM Travel had taken over running it. She said: “Three were missing this morning, two yesterday morning.

“Out of 55 journeys, 22 were missing. We rely on that bus for the doctors, shopping, chemist, you name it.” Mrs Walker said she had also missed a doctor’s appointment because of bus problems and she needs to have tests done.

She asked the council to do something about it.

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard has used £2m of his mayoral budget to restore bus services in Sheffield and South Yorkshire and is running a Fair Bus Deal campaignSouth Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard has used £2m of his mayoral budget to restore bus services in Sheffield and South Yorkshire and is running a Fair Bus Deal campaign
South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard has used £2m of his mayoral budget to restore bus services in Sheffield and South Yorkshire and is running a Fair Bus Deal campaign
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Coun Ben Miskell, chair of the transport, regeneration and climate policy committee, responded: “I do agree with you about the poor quality service that many people in our city have received since deregulation of our bus services.

“South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard has launched a campaign for a far better deal and his campaign highlights that 42 per cent of our bus services have been cut due to government bus funding cuts over the past 10 years.

Transport strategy

“We do of course continue to work with Oliver, as well as shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh, to demand better for Sheffield.” Louise Haigh is also Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley.

Later in the meeting, Coun Miskell and Coun Craig Gamble Pugh put forward a motion to the council, welcoming the move to develop a new Sheffield Transport Strategy. The motion said that “the people of Sheffield need a transport system that gets them from A-to-B quickly, safely and affordably”.

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It added: “Sheffield and South Yorkshire have been badly let down by 13 years of government under-investment in transport infrastructure, and (the council) further notes the government’s track record of broken promises from cancelling the eastern leg of HS2, to scrapping the electrification of Midland Mainline, and chronically under-funding our buses.”

The motion supported the move by Mayor Coppard to accelerate the process of franchising South Yorkshire bus services, to bring them under more public control. It also backed active travel schemes and road infrastructure improvements.

The motion said that the strategy should involve public consultation but should prioritise the following measures:

  • a plan to tackle congestion across the city, with a focus on hotspots, such as in parts of south-east Sheffield;
  • an ambitious vision to expand the tram network;
  • reopening rail lines for tram-train and rail services including to Stocksbridge, along the Sheaf Valley and the Barrow Hill line through south-east Sheffield, with the potential for new stations, including at Beighton;
  • a plan to realise the benefits of bringing buses and trams under public control, such as shared ticketing arrangements and designing bus services that link with tram stops;
  • a plan to ensure all parts of Sheffield from Stocksbridge to Mosborough have frequent, reliable buses;
  • a plan to upgrade cycling infrastructure, particularly with segregated cycle routes;
  • a clear focus on improving the pedestrian experience, recognising the enormous health benefits of walking;
  • accelerating the rollout of 20mph zones and school streets so that families have safe journeys to and from school; and
  • restoring the direct rail link between Sheffield and Manchester airport.

To find out more about Mayor Coppard’s Fair Bus Deal campaign, go online at https://southyorkshire-ca.gov.uk/fair-deal. He is running a series of meetings around the region, as well as online meetings.