‘It’s ridiculous’: Why Sheffield pupils are waiting ‘over an hour’ in the rain for buses to arrive – with many late for school
Children in Sheffield have been left waiting more than an hour for buses to arrive, say frustrated parents, with many services failing to stop as they are full.
Liam Mellor last week told how his 13-year-old daughter Reagan had missed a day of school after waiting nearly 40 minutes without luck in the pouring rain for a number 25 bus to show up in Manor.
Her experience has prompted a flood of responses from parents about the long waits their children have endured since pupils returned to school last Monday.
Some pupils have waited for well over an hour as up to five full buses went past, say parents, who complain that many services are still running to a reduced timetable, often with single-deckers, despite the demand.
The complaints relate to numerous services, operated by both Stagecoach and First, with some parents saying reliability had already been poor during the autumn term.
Louisa Hazlehurst said her daughter catches the number 8 bus to The Birley Academy, which is ‘always full, making her late for school’.
“This has been a problem ever since schools first went back in September. Funnily enough at the weekend the bus is a double-decker which is empty,” she added.
Sarah Loveday-Powell told how her son had waited 40 minutes for a number 11/11a from Sheffield Lane Top to All Saints Catholic High School last Thursday.
Jade Guess branded the service shocking after her daughter waited an hour and 20 minutes to catch a number 20 bus home from school in Parson Cross.
Katrina Dyson, who catches the number 24/25 service from Woodhouse to the city centre, said: “They weren't the best before the kids went back but now they are even worse.
"I had a conversation with one of the women at my stop the other day and she and her toddler had to wait an hour for an empty bus. She'd been there from 7.30am and every one had turned up full. It’s ridiculous.”
Another parent, who asked not to be named, told how her daughter had waited nearly an hour for a number 7 bus when returning from Silverdale School to her home near Woodhouse last week, with five buses failing to stop.
A Buses for Sheffield spokeswoman said: “Our priority is to make sure that everyone who relies on public transport can get where they need to be, safely and on time.
“Since schools returned, we are running more buses and we’re monitoring how people are using them very closely to match the buses available with where they are needed most.
“With Government social distancing guidelines still in place, buses can only carry a reduced number of customers and there may be more demand for services at key times.
“So we’re continuously listening and responding to customer feedback and have added in extra buses on some very busy journeys in the mornings where possible.
“We’re reminding all students, parents and customers to plan ahead, think about how and when they travel and allow extra time for journeys.
“We welcome feedback and would encourage customers that identify any issues to contact either First or Stagecoach directly, or Travel South Yorkshire’s customer service team, so we can take any action needed.”
For information about planning school travel in South Yorkshire, visit travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-gb/journeyplanning/school-travel.