Sheffield councillors demand re-think over controversial changes to ‘one of city’s busiest bus routes’ 

Councillors Curran and Lindars-Hammond.
Councillors Curran and Lindars-Hammond.

Councillors are demanding a re-think over planned changes to one of Sheffield’s busiest bus routes after passengers branded the move ‘disastrous’. 

The number 52 which calls at stops in Woodhouse, the city centre and Hillsborough is regarded as a main commuter route used by people travelling to work, for parents dropping off their kids at school and students attending the universities.

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But Stagecoach bosses confirmed that from Sunday, September 2, the service will no longer run between Crookes and Hillsborough Monday to Saturday.

Passengers have criticised the move, with one branding it as ‘disastrous’, over concerns that the other bus which serves the route – First’s 52a – will not be able to take on the extra load, meaning commuters could be left stranded at stops.

Labour councillors for the area have now written to Stagecoach bosses urging them to keep the 52 running between Crookes and Hillsborough.

Jack Scott, cabinet member for transport and development at Sheffield Council, said: “This is a bad decision. Good public transport is key for our economy and for our local communities.

“The council spends millions of pounds improving our roads and transport infrastructure.

“Bus providers need to play their part in ensuring that there is an efficient and comprehensive service for communities across the city. I am asking Stagecoach for an urgent meeting to discuss this.”

Walkley councillor Ben Curran described the change as “outrageous” and added the move “could lead to more elderly people being cut off and isolated.”

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George Lindars-Hammond, councillor for Hillsborough, said: “Residents of Hillsborough are already frustrated by delays to the existing bus services and removing an entire service from serving Hillsborough will make things worse.

“We’re fortunate to have the tram but this must not be at the expense of all other transport links.”

Matt Davies, managing director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said the change was introduced because while the 52 is "one of the busiest routes in Sheffield, fewer customers use the service between Crookes and Hillsborough."

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Allan Riggall, head of commercial at First South Yorkshire, said: "The September changes will mean that a five minute service will still remain between Woodhouse and Crookes, and a 10 minute service will still operate between Crookes, Hillsborough and Wisewood.

“A 10 minute service between Hillsborough and Crookes is sufficient for demand.”