I decided to try the Sheffield bus that was voted as the worst in the city - and it was only one minute late

I took the 'worst' rated bus in Sheffield and enjoyed a morning out in High Green.
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Last week, we asked our readers what the best and worst bus service is in Sheffield - and more than a third of respondents answered with one in mind

The 1 service, which runs from Batemoor to High Green, was crowned the 'worst', claiming 36 per cent of the overall votes. For this reason, it seemed only right that I got the bus for myself to see what it’s all about. 

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As a frequent bus user, I am well aware of some of the issues with Sheffield’s current public transport network. For this same reason, I also launched a campaign earlier this year through The Star, in partnership with South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard, to demand additional government funding to better bus services in the county. 

Reporter Kirsty Hamilton tried out the 'worst' voted by in SheffieldReporter Kirsty Hamilton tried out the 'worst' voted by in Sheffield
Reporter Kirsty Hamilton tried out the 'worst' voted by in Sheffield

I’ve never had to get the 1 before, nor had I ever been to High Green (although I did once have a very boring run along the A61 up there), so I was quite excited for my trip. I am fortunate enough to have a car, and so to avoid getting two buses, I set off at around 8:30am to the romantic Valentine Road, and got the 1 from Barnsley Road, in Sheffield Lane Top.

I got to the bus stop just before 9am, and the Google Maps app showed a bus was due at 9.03am. While I was waiting, I introduced myself to a woman also waiting for the bus and told her what I was doing. She was then joined by a friend and they both told me it was an unreliable service. Ironically, the bus turned up just one minute late.

'Ironically, the bus turned up just one minute late'

After paying my £2 fare, which is capped until the end of the year, I plonked myself down on a seat and got comfortable for the next 25 minutes. It was one of the old buses with a rumbling engine and fabric-covered blue plastic seats.

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The bus was filled with chatter, and a number of passengers seemed to know each other which made it feel like some sort of community hub. As we headed through Ecclesfield and Chapeltown, the bus gradually got quieter. By High Green, I was one of two passengers on the bottom of the double-decker.

There was a point as the bus was travelling up Wortley Road that I couldn’t help but hold my breath. The road was heavily parked on both sides with oncoming traffic, but the driver was very careful. Having driven a bus in the past, I know this would be a rookie’s nightmare.

The 1 service runs from Batemoor to High Green.The 1 service runs from Batemoor to High Green.
The 1 service runs from Batemoor to High Green.

I got off the bus a little earlier than I had intended as I thought the last stop was Foster Way outside the health centre, but I later found out it is actually Cottam Road/Briary Avenue. I reached the stop one minute past its scheduled time of 9.25am. 

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Overall, my journey to High Green was uneventful and met all expectations anyone would have of getting the bus. It was pretty much on time, the driver was skilful and polite, the seat was comfortable enough, and it was pretty easy going.

I was ready to head back just under two hours later, and found myself waiting for the bus on a bench on Worrall Road. While this would be great any other day, the bus came exactly on time at 11:19am. It was much quieter this direction, and I got back to Barnsley Road bang on time. 

While my journey was with complete ease both ways, I am well aware that this is not everyone’s experience, with the evening services frequently cropping up as being inefficient. Perhaps I will have to embark on a night out at High Green Club and see how my journey home fares…

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