Take Control Of Our Buses

Communities need to have more control of bus fares, routes and timetables.

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Liberal Democrat councillors have tabled a motion at February meeting of full council calling on Sheffield City Council to pull out of the failing Sheffield bus partnership that has overseen increases in bus fares while at the same time cuts to services.

The Sheffield Bus Partnership is a voluntary agreement between SYPTE, Sheffield City Council and bus operators First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Sheffield, TM Travel and Sheffield Community Transport. It was launched in October 2012 with great fanfare and promises to provide a better coordinated network of buses and trams in Sheffield, making it easier to travel around the city.

The partnership also promised fewer changes to routes and timetables – meaning a more stable network overall. At the time it was believed that by working together that they would make the bus network simpler, more flexible and convenient for passengers.

However, six years on, the aims of the partnership have not been met and promises of fewer route changes and a more stable bus network have not been realised angering many bus users as they have seen their much valued bus service constantly chopped and changed resulting in a decline in bus use while at the same time the bus operators continued to increase fares.

The Liberal Democrat motion calls for scrapping of the bus partnership and highlights concerns over fare increases, cuts, unreliability and increased air pollution as people are driven away from using buses to greater use of private cars. The motion will be tabled by Cllr Ian Auckland.

It echoes previous petitions received by Sheffield City Council in relation to the poor bus services provided in the city including Greenhill resident.

Cllr Ian Auckland, Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport and Development said:

"Bus services in Sheffield are heading for a fork in the road, cuts to services, fare increases and dwindling passenger numbers on one road. Or the option that the Lib Dems are demanding which is to end the failed Sheffield Bus Partnership and build a comprehensive, integrated and affordable public transport system."

"I believe the threat to services has never been greater in my twenty years on Sheffield City Council, particularly bus services such as the number 18 and 19 which serve the area I represent in Graves Park Ward.”

Cllr Richard Shaw, member for Beauchief and Greenhill said “I am seconding Cllr Auckland’s motion as I represent communities which are isolated and on the edge of the city. Many local residents rely on bus services to get to work, go shopping or access health services.”

“We've had many changes and cuts to local buses over the years, such as the number 17 service which ran from the city centre, through the heart of my ward to Greenhill, and onwards to Jordanthorpe. I receive regular complaints about buses in particular about the poor reliability of the number 76 bus service through Greenhill.

“People deserve a regular, reliable bus service which serves the needs of the community, not Labour's failed bus partnership.”

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