Buses Better?

The Messenger first reported on the ‘Better Buses’ scheme in April 2006. Nearly five months after its launch in November 2007, one of our volunteers took a ride along the new bus route and asked passengers for their views on the bus service and the changes that have been made along the route.

Many of those commenting said they had experienced impolite drivers, late running buses, and incorrect information about bus arrival times. A number also wondered why the bus fares rose so frequently and why there was no night service.

A better bus?

“Some of the drivers are not kind to their customers. The buses that run down Burngreave Road never respect the timetable, they are always late and the screens don’t give the right information”.

“The bus tickets are very expensive. One way tickets are £2 and a weekly pass is £17. I never really understood why the prices have to go up every year”.

“The public transport system is not very good here. It’s always late, sometimes more than 30 minutes, which is no good if you need to be at school, at work or have an appointment”.

What is 'Better Buses'?

Council engineers aimed to improve the reliability and efficiency of the bus service by altering the road layout and traffic control system along Barnsley Road, Burngreave Road and Spital Hill and improving passenger information at the bus stops. The plans involved road closures, new junctions, extra vehicle lanes and months of road works. In response to consultation many concerns were raised by residents and some changes had to be made to the plans before work began.
Bus Stop

One of the important aims of the Better Buses scheme was that it would enable the Council and its partners, the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), to monitor bus operators and oblige them to improve their services. The council told us "SYPTE are monitoring public transport along the North Sheffield Corridor, including the punctuality and reliability of bus services". They have signed up to the 'North Sheffield Statutory Quality Partnership, (SQP)' which requires bus operators to improve bus services and specifies the standards for bus cleanliness, environmental performance and accessibility.

Council's Response

In response to our enquiry as to why bus fares rose so frequently, the Council stated, "Current legislation does not give the partnership any control over fares and pricing." The SYPTE's Bus Development Assistant added "First have aimed to have fare increases only once per annum, the most recent being in January this year after a similar increase in January 2007".

Refund Promise

As part of the Better Buses Scheme, First Buses released a 'Customer Charter' which promises to provide a reliable service on the Barnsley/Burngreave Road routes. Passengers can now claim a free FirstDay travel ticket if their bus is more than a minute early or more than twenty minutes late (as long as the delay was within First's control). Travel Claim Forms and copies of the Customer Charter are available at travel information centres in Sheffield or you can download the Customer Charter PDF below.

 Click to Download the Customer Charter PDF

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The content on this page was added to the website by Rohan Francis on 2008-04-04 20:06:24.
The content of the page was last modified by Rohan Francis on 2008-04-12 21:58:12.

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