Sheffield double decker buses sent to Doncaster on the eve of travel chaos

Double decker buses in Sheffield were sent over Doncaster on the eve of resulting travel chaos that caused misery for passengers across the city.

Saturday, 19th March 2016, 5:00 am
Buses in Sheffield city centre

A report by Doncaster Council seen by The Star said that Sheffield were sent their newer single deckers in return due to the bus partnership ‘commitments’.

First bus company said that they ‘recognised quickly’ this was a mistake and brought double deckers back over to Sheffield.

The Sheffield Bus Partnership, which includes bus operators, Sheffield Council and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said they had introduced extra buses to ease demand after the initial public outcry.

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The Star asked First South Yorkshire how many Sheffield double deckers were sent over to Doncaster and how many were later brought back but no answer was given.

Over 12,000 people signed a petition calling for the cuts to services across the city to be reversed, after they came in on November 1.

Sheffield Council then held a debate on the cuts which axed, rescheduled, reduced or renumbered dozens of services, creating long queues at stops, full buses, confused passengers and left residents unable to get to work.

Greenhill mum, Joanne Lumley who set up a petition which gathered thousands of signatures said: “It’s more seats per day and they were lost when they were needed most.

“It is significant and it annoys me with this line about more double deckers being put on being the magical solution. It’s completely ridiculous.”

Kevin Belfield, managing director of First South Yorkshire said: “When making decisions around new buses we take into account partnership commitments but also look carefully at levels of customer demand as well as vehicle suitability for the area.

“In October 2015 we did transfer a small number of one-year old single deck buses from Doncaster to Sheffield where they were more suited, supporting our aims to reduce the amount of fuel we use with buses with a better fuel economy.

Following the changes in November 2015 we recognised very quickly that some routes were not balanced in terms of vehicle capacity and demand and we took steps to redistribute buses more effectively within Sheffield as well as bringing in six double deck buses from our Rotherham depot.

“The changes were part of a wider fleet exchange programme that included several types of buses across several depots and included single deck as well as double deck buses transferring from our Sheffield depot.

Recent timetable changes to improve punctuality and reliability have also helped improve capacity by ensuring our services are more evenly spaced.”

But this has been refuted widely refuted by many bus passengers who have contacted The Star.