Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Press Probes Partnership Proposals

Only Two Weeks Late!
On Tuesday 21st (i.e. yesterday), over two weeks after the "consultation" began, the main Sheffield newspaper has worked out what is happening. More correctly, the journalists have twigged that something is happening but they don't know what.

In Norton Lees, the number 19 and 20 bus services are to be reduced from every half hour to every hour because ‘current patronage levels do not justify’ the current levels.

Erm, not quite.

Service 20 via Warminster Road ...
... is being increased in frequecy from every 20 minutes to every 15, 30 evenings and Sundays.
Retired teacher Elizabeth Grant, of Hollythorpe Rise, said: “There will also be no services after 7pm and nothing on Sundays."

Does Elizabeth Grant use the service 19? fbb asks because the current service doesn't run after 7pm and there are currently no buses on Sundays!
Liz conrinues, "I feel because it’s not a council estate and there isn’t a hospital they will argue it is not profitable enough but for us it is the only bus we can get - having one every hour just isn’t on."

It's not the "only bus". The improved 20 passes very close to the Hollythorpe Rise estate (Lees Hall Road) where the 19 is being proposed for a reduction to hourly.
Meanwhile, on the north west side of the City:

Carole Froggatt, of Wisewood, said withdrawing the 84 from Wisewood and Loxley due to insufficient patronage was ‘nothing but scandalous and very unfair’.

She added: “What about the disabled, people with mobility problems, ageing pensioners and mums with babies in prams, let alone poor workers who have jobs to get to for a certain time?”

Carole implies that he people of Wisewood will be bereft of buses.

Again, does she actually use buses from Wisewood? What she should be saying is that the alternative route 31/31A is slower (via Walkley and/or Langsett Estate) and more circuitous than the direct 84.

31 wiggles : 84 direct

The new 53 and existing 61 and 62 only run to Hillsborough and not through to the city centre.

Current Wisewood and Loxley

Proposed Wisewood and Loxley
Carole is right to complain; but she does (as reported by The Star) for spurious reasons. A better solution would be to leave the 84 where it is and cut the 31 back to Hillsborough where it always used to terminate.

In Stannington the SL2 link bus which connects the village with the Malin Bridge tram stop is to be axed.

True; but the SL2 was not well used and the current (and future) 81 and 82 will link the area to the tram AND City. The frequency through to town is unchanged and there are proposals for extra buses to Hillsborough to compensate for the loss of SL2. These extra 81 proposals are not fully explained anywhere; maybe a figment of The Star's imagination? No-one mentions the fares implications which, in the case of the SL2 chop, will be far more painful than the service changes. Through tickets from the 82 to the tram and vice versa? Ice encompassing a proverbial hot place is more likely.

Opposition councillors say they have been flooded with complaints about the changes and there has been too little publicity. One complainant had travelled on six buses but could not find a leaflet and when he visited an interchange was told he could only have one rather than taking more home for elderly neighbours.

Graves Park Coun Ian Auckland said yesterday that the consultation should have been 60 days long, rather than 25, given its significance.

The good councillor doesn't seem to have grasped the draconian chop to service 20A outlined recently in this blog (read again). fbb would have expected a huge fuss on behalf of his Derbyshire Lane constituents.

A PTE spokesman said a review of the network looked ‘very carefully’ at demand for bus services, aimed to cut congestion (Tosh! It's to cut costs and enhance profits.) by removing duplicated services or those which are not well used and views would be considered before changes (and ignored?).

Yesterday David Young, interim PTE director general, told the committee 800 people had taken part in the consultation so far and lack of funding meant that buying adverts (for the proposals) on the side of buses would mean ‘cutting bus services.’

You might think that the "Partners" might be pleased to advertise these "positive changes" on the sides of their own buses and absorb the costs from the significant economies that will ensue from the revised scheme. 

In total 10,000 leaflets (for a population of 1,600,000!) had been printed and were at interchanges, plus on ‘all’ Stagecoach buses but only 60 per cent of First buses which staff were trying to address.

Mr Young encouraged more people to have their say to make the exercise more effective.“This is a consultation, not a final network”, he added. “There is room to manoeuvre and, if it comes to that, to go back to the drawing board if it is fundamentally wrong.”

You bet there is! NOT!

And again ...
Yes, you guessed it. It is all one badly planned, badly explained badly advertised mess.

Sadly the press hasn't really grasped the nettle and could have made much more of a "shout" than the above half truths and misconceptions.

What a surprise all round!

 Next bus blog : Thursday 23rd July 


  1. Wow! 10000 whole leaflets? This is another example of the arrogant reliance on the principle of ‘self-serve’. In the areas that are most adversely affected by these alterations there will be significant numbers of people who do not have access to the web or a smart phone. It is for this reason that quotes in the Star will be mis-informed. No one knows what’s going on.

    There have of course been significant budget cuts to SYPTE over the past 5 years and these have resulted in a ‘top heavy’ management that is completely removed from the realities of life and day to day travel on public transport. Yes, this new network (a dead cert for implementation in October) is all about saving buses, dead mileage, efficiencies and PROFIT margins. You might even be forgiven that this is a slower version of the 1960s Beeching cuts to the railways. How far will it go? At this rate by 2025 we could be left with the 52, a truncated 120 (don’t need buses in Fulwood, they’ve all got cars), 47 and 75. Obviously they will have different numbers by then, but at least they will be profitable and everyone else will use a car, walk or just stay at home.

    Get a grip Mr Young – don’t just lay down and take it, fight back and do something positive with the wads you get paid.

  2. Asked for a North and a south map today at sheffield TI, was tools only got south there are no North maps left any where.

    Not good is it ?