A Long Series Of Proposals
Louise Haigh, the Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, is hopeful that a new website will highlight the problem of bus services in the city, the impact that poor service has on traffic and air pollution as people turn to cars, and strengthen the argument for nationalisation of bus services.
Louise spoke to the Sheffield Telegraph on an 11a bus journey through Heeley this week, to explain the problems plaguing bus services and what can be done to address them.
Over the years the price has risen and risen as the service has deteriorated.
Absolutely. Cash fares are between two and three times, in real terms, those charged, say 20 years ago once the lunacy of privatisation and deregulation had settled down. "Season" tickets have risen less, but are still well above the core inflation rate.
Clearly the biggest impact on service quality is caused by traffic congestion and is outside the control of the bus operators.
People always hark back to those days when Sheffield bus services were reliable, Sheffield buses were far better quality and cheaper. I have seen that deteriorate over the years – the long term solution is to make sure our buses are publicly owned.
There is not a shred of evidence that public ownership would have made running buses any easier!
Since Covid things have got markedly worse.
So has almost everything else!
I don’t use the bus anywhere near as much as I would like because they are not reliable enough.
But here is Louise doing her hard-working MP bit and being photographed at Heeley Green bus stop waiting for an 11a bus towards City, a bus that she never catches on a regular basis ...
That is because she lives at Norfolk Park and there is no bus service - only trams.
And so back to public ownership.
I work in London and I see the unimaginable difference there, they have a huge difference in investment in public transport.
But Transport for London is bankrupt; services are being cut and fares are being increased as per Roger French's recent revealing blog.
Louise has now helped to launch the new Better Buses website through which customers can easily complain when there is a problem with their Sheffield bus – even while they are at the bus stop waiting for a delayed service.
Users can access the website and easily input information explaining the route they were travelling on or the bus stop they were waiting at and explain what went wrong.
Louise’s office will then use the data from these complaints to demand improvements to bus services in the city.
Best of luck with that, young lady!
But here she is, App in hand, waiting for her 11a back up the hill just past the railway bridge on Myrtle Road.
But, sadly for Louise and her credibility, she provides, within the app, a list of bus routes for the user to select.
What about:- 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9. 10/10a, 29, 30/30a, 35a, 32, 43, 44, 50/50a, 53/53a, 55, 57, 58, 61, 62, 65, 74, 74a, 80/80a, 83/83a, 86, 88, 120, 135, 181, 201, 218, 252, 257, A1, M17, M92, SL1/SL1a, X17, X30, X57, X78?
And there is no 19, 36, 71, 72, 72x, 73x or 414 in Sheffield.
fbb thinks that Louise or one of her chums (Gavin again?) has simply copied from an out of date First Bus index of their routes.
In some ways it is encouraging that a politician is interested in buses, BUT it would be better if said politician were a bit better educated on the subject.
fbb has emailed Louise to offer his assistance in formulating a list of things that COULD be done to improve the city's network.
As yet, no reply!