Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Partnership Proposals Perplex Passengers [2]

The Daftness of Dore (part 2)
Service 50, as extended from Ecclesall to City in 1949, did not follow that main Ecclesall Road into town.
At Hunters (toll) bar the bus veered left up Brocco Bank, serving the posh Girls High School, King Edward's Grammar School ...
... the New Teaching Hospital, later much extended as the Royal Hallamshire. For many years the service ran up Clarkson Street past the Childrens Hospital ...
... and the University.
The latter was where your esteemed author completed his academic education; and the former saved the life of No 3 son as a baby. Boy, is that an emotional place!

Later varieties of the 50 ran direct to city via Glossop Road and West Street. Just to add confusion, in recent years the long standing 50 was linked with a service to Crystal Peaks and numbered 30; then relinked to a service to Catcliffe and numbered 70. Operationally, a cross-city link helps in the efficient use of vehicles as the running time from Dore to City has, over the years, increased.

But for the purpose of the blog and to avoid confusion, fbb has kept the number 50 on the map below. Oh, all right! He forgot the renumbering! This is the map of a selection of todays services which assume relevance when exploring "The Daftness of Dore". All services are operated by First Bus with the exception of a few journeys in 272 run by Hulleys.
  70 - (50 on map) every thirty minutes  
  82 - every ten minutes to Ecclesall turning nibble.
  85 - every 30 minutes to Tesco, Abbeydale Road
272 - every hour to Castleton

So the dynamic Sheffield Bus Partnership announces a major shake-up of the routes as follow.

  70 - withdrawn completely 
  82 - extended every 20 minutes to Dore
  85 - diverted via the 70 route
272 - every hour to Castleton i.e no change
 The response is a massive scream of protest from the Dore residents.
The following letter was handed in to the South Yorkshire Bus Partnership on Monday 27th July along with a petition from over 950 Dore residents complaining about the plan to remove the no.70 bus service

We are opposed to the plans to remove the no.70 bus service and to replace it by running the no.81 out from Ecclesall to Dore.

This service is proposed to run at 20 minute intervals and is being promoted as an improvement on the current service while completely ignoring the impact of removing a service which is extremely important to people who need to get to and from the four hospitals on that route, the university and the schools and other locations along that route.

The people affected include:
• Patients attending hospital appointments.
• People visiting others who are in-patients at one of the hospitals
• People who work at the organisations listed above
• Schoolchildren at the schools

This amounts to several hundred people.

How many of the 950 protesters use the bus is far from clear; and how many of the users travel to hospitals, schools or University on the abandoned route must be a small percentage.

The credibility of the protest is further undermined by by this statement in their letter. "The option of changing at Hunter’s Bar to a no.10 (running at hourly intervals) or a no.80 (running at 30 minute intervals) ..." There is no service 80!

But the planners on the Sheffield Bus Partnership have come up with a revised cunning plan; so cunning as to be almost ridiculous in its application. Service 6 will be operated by T M Travel, otherwise First Bus.
  70 - withdrawn completely 
  81 - extended every 20 minutes to Dore
  82 - extended every 20 minutes from Dore 
   6 - via the 70 route replacing 85 as originally planned
181 - peak hour Mon to Fri trips to University and Hospital
271 - some Mon to Sat journeys via University and Hospital
272 - other journeys and Sunday service via the "normal" route


This leaves the residents of Dore village with three route numbers (81, 82, 181) instead of one; and STILL with no buses to the hospitals schools or university except at Monday to Friday peak times. The Dore timetable becomes a right muddle.

Service 272 passengers will have their journeys to city disrupted, taking them away from The Moor and the new market hall during the day at irregular and unpredictable times. The Castleton timetable becomes a right muddle. This change will benefit a very few passengers who joined the 70 at Dore Moor, Whirlow and Ecclesall bus nibble; it will be no help at all for those joining in Dore village.

The new service 6 is diverted via Brocco Bank for no particular purpose and, again, will take its regular (former 85) passengers away from shopping facilities on The Moor whilst changing the route number.


Don't change anything. The service 50 has worked well for 65 years. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

Or have the "improvements" in service (i.e. making them worse) been generated by consultants looking at statistics on a screen rather than understanding travel patterns in Sheffield?

Tomorrow, we will take a look at the way in which this revised revision is being communicated to the travelling public.
No, it hasn't!
 Next bus blog : Thursday 8th October 


  1. Speaking at the Bus & Coach show at the NEC last week, Stagecoach UK bus managing director Bob Montgomery said that the current Sheffield Bus Partnership network was not sustainable enough to allow ong term investment i.e. there's not enough revenue to cover the costs.
    Essentially therefore the network *is* broken and requires fixing. Whether there is a greater role for lower cost operators such as Wellglade's TM Travel remains to be seen.

  2. A driver of the new Partnership plan(apparently produced by a consultancy- no comment....)is that First have around 35 non-DDA compliant vehicles in the fleet which have to be withdrawn at the end of the year, and that a business case can't be made for replacing them. patronage goes up 5% a year so we cut services - simples!
    NO publicity of any sort,apart from a few garbled press accounts, is yet evident to warn Sheffield folk of what is about to hit them- a repetition of 1986 when lack of information fuelled mass desertion from the area's buses??

  3. To slightly qualify my earlier comment- a list of changes and a frequency guide is available on the PTE's website. Nothing on First's; a link from stagecoach's site to the list appears not to be working. Nothing on paper or on-bus.

  4. Hi FBB,
    As a local resident I just wanted to point out a few things, the situation is actually even more complicated than your diagrams show. Uneffected by the changes is route 505 which always ran a peak time only service from Tesco to the Hospital via route 6. Additional, 81 & 82 buses don't just serve Dore, some serve Millhouses instead. (Why can't 81 go to Dore and 82 go to Millhouses or visa versa to make it simpler?) As well as this some (1) afternoon 272 service always went via the hospital. Definitely agree with you on the case for leaving things as they are.
    Secondly, I was just wondering though if you could please link to where you go the information for 272/271. We (locals) were told that off peak 272 services would go via the hospital, however, the published timetable on TSY don't show this. There currently is no 271 bus and I was unable to find any mention of it on the TSY website. Thanks
    Finally, the original proposal (and consultation) was for route 6 to be route 80, however I agree that this is stupid that it isnt been updated.

  5. What is a Uinversity?