Multinational bus companies, First and Stagecoach, have had a fare raising bonanza in South Yorkshire in the past few months. On the 26th May they introduced service cuts to many city routes, including some crossing Burngreave.
Our local routes affected are 1,1A, 83, 83A, 88, 97, 98. The Travel South Yorkshire Transport website invidiously describes these cuts as “Minor timetable changes” but these cuts will entail reducing daytime service frequency from six per hour to four per hour on the 83/83A and 97/98 routes. Frequencies on the 1/1A and 88 are also reduced.
Stagecoach have told me that these changes are for the summer period only. But these cuts represent a pernicious change in the definition of ‘summer’ which for the bus companies ran previously for the duration of the summer school holidays but this year has been stealthily increased by two months.
We can expect longer waits for buses and more crowded buses resulting in increased stress for passengers and drivers alike. Such a deterioration in the bus service will result in more people travelling by car which will worsen our already illegal levels of air pollution in many parts of Sheffield.
Stagecoach claim that these cuts are necessary “to ensure the long term sustainability of the network”. I would suggest that they will drive more people away from the buses which have been losing passengers for many years due partially to increased fares, overcrowding and unreliable services.
It is time that buses were taken back under local public control in order to provide a service working in the interests of the passengers and the environment.
People from across South Yorkshire are being asked for their views on buses which will be used to inform an independent review announced by Mayor Dan Jarvis earlier this year. The review will be carried out and chaired by Clive Betts MP.
Make sure to voice your views
Buses are the way forward!
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