I noticed a reply from Alan Riggall from First, regarding the X78 Service, and would like his input regarding the recent changes to the 69 Sheffield to Rotherham Bus Route.
I live in Tinsley, and, previously enjoyed the 69 bus route, as it came three times an hours and was a manageable trip both ways.
Now, for some reason, we have had this taken away, and replaced with the 70/71, which now means a much longer and more complicated trip to both Sheffield and Rotherham.
There are a lot of elderly people in Tinsley, for some of whom the 69 was a lifeline, as it came up and around Highgate, and served St Lawrence Road.
The new service does not come up to Highgate with the same frequency, meaning now most of us catch the TM Travel Service 31 to Rotherham, and do not use the First Bus.
For going into Sheffield, we catch the same 31 bus and then use the Supertram into Sheffield City Centre.
This has now made it more difficult to go out, as we are finding ourselves having one eye on the clock while we are out.
There is also the problem of not having an early morning service from Highgate for workers, and this means they have to walk down St Lawrence Road, or Bawtry Road, in the dark, to catch a bus on Sheffield Road.
I have spoken to some of my elderly neighbours, who tell me that they no longer go out with the same frequency as they did before. Some of them say they do not want the long journey to Sheffield, taking them on an unfamiliar route, and others are not able to walk onto Bawtry Road, where they would catch the TM Travel 31 and then change at Meawdowhall.
It seems as though no thought for local residents has been given, and during a consultation visit with First, which took place in Tinsley before the change, we thought it would be a question and answer session, where we could discuss the worries we had. Instead it was already a done deed, with new timetables being handed out.
If it was not for the TM Travel service we have, myself and many others would not have the chance to go out, without having to endure the trek to Sheffield Road, and we are at a loss as to why Highgate and St Lawrence Road are not being served like they were before.
First are surely going to be suffering a loss of income on this route.
For example, you are going to work in Sheffield City Centre, and you get on the bus in Rotherham at 0730. You travel through Canklow, Brinsworth, Tinsley Park, Sheffield City Airport, finally it comes to Tinsley, (the one before and after this one do not go into Sheffield, they terminate at Mewdowhall).
From Meadowhall you go to Wincobank, Grimesthorpe, and then to the Interchange at 0850 – travel time, one hour and 20 minutes.
Before, on the old 69, it took about 15-20 minutess. We can only assume that this new route and timetable was thought up by someone in a warm, cosy office, who gets into a car to go home.
A very frustrated resident from Tinsley