Pricing even more residents off buses

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Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed

Leader of the Sheffield Lib Dems

Mr Mark Burnwood of Carlisle Street, (letters, November 8), asks what steps the Liberal Democrats would take to protect communities from further deterioration to two key services, namely their public libraries and public transport.

Our approach was set out in our local manifesto, published earlier this year and available to view online on our website www.shefflibdems.org.uk

We believe that communities should make decisions for themselves rather than have decisions imposed on them. We would look for ways of promoting good relationships with community groups and key to this is to ensure that there is a community hub, a role that libraries are uniquely suited for.

Libraries now offer access to on-line facilities which many pupils now need to engage with their school work, something that is often absent in the homes in our more deprived areas of our city. We would increase the professional support for our community libraries. The expertise is needed more than ever.

We have long argued that we need a bus quality contract which hands power back to local people if we are to have a bus network that is stable, comprehensive, easy to use and which delivers good value.

We would scrap Labour’s bus partnership which has seen bus fares increase while bus services have been cut. Residents in Sheffield vie for the dubious title for having the most unreliable service, for which there are many contenders.

It’s ironic that, at a time when calls for the reduction in the use of private cars come from so many quarters, the local bus service has become so expensive that people living in poverty find it more cost effective to run a car than to use a bus for themselves and their family.

The latest suggestion from the Council of a ‘£50 per day bus tax’ on buses passing through the centre will price even more residents off buses.