Transport chiefs have listened to bus passengers and are to alter planned changes in line with their wishes.
Bus operators, along with Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, carried out the promised consultation on plans to reroute some bus services in the city, an engagement with the public negotiated through the Sheffield Bus Partnership.
More than 1,000 replied to the consultation, carried out between 25 July and 23 August, and three petitions were received.
And having assessed the feedback changes have now been made to the proposals in line with comments from the public.
The consultation was carried out by the Sheffield Bus Partnership (SBP), which was launched in October last year. The partnership is made up of First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach, Sheffield Community Transport, together with Sheffield City Council and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.
The SBP aims to grow the numbers of people using buses by making the bus network more convenient, more stable and more affordable. In its first nine months it has reversed the historic decline in bus patronage. Figures show that the numbers using buses grew by more than five per cent over the past three months.
Among the proposed changes that are not going ahead are those to 13/13a services (replaced by an extended 66 service). Passengers said they preferred the existing service as it offered a link between High Green, Grenoside, Fox Hill, Hillsborough and the city centre. It will remain unchanged. In addition the proposed changes to routes from Ecclesall Road to north west Sheffield – services 11, 12, 81, 82, 85 and 95 – will not now be implemented at this time but reviewed at a later date.
Operator First is to carry out further localised consultation on the 17, 20 and 20a services in south Sheffield to try to make sure these routes are meeting passengers’ needs. Any changes to these services will now be postponed until the end of January 2014 to enable further community discussion.
Changes proposed by Stagecoach on routes SL1, 57 and 123 will be implemented at the end of October.
Cllr Leigh Bramall, Cabinet Member for Business, Development and Skills at Sheffield City Council said: “The outcome of this consultation clearly shows that the Bus Partnership is listening to local people to get our bus service right. There is more work and consultation to be done, but this is important to ensure we deliver the best service possible.”
David Young, SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, said: “This shows that we are listening to our customers and we care about what they want. The bus network is for them and so it goes where they want, when they want. We’re already seeing growth start to return to the Sheffield bus network and we want to build on that and make sure it keeps on growing.”
Richard Soper, Strategic Development Director for First in South Yorkshire, said: "We are happy to work with our partners to listen to the views of the local communities that we serve and to consider making changes to our network where it is sensible and practical to do so."
Paul Lynch, Stagecoach in Sheffield Managing Director, said: “Providing the best public transport offer for our customers is vital. Our changes in October 2012 encouraged strong growth and by continuing to ask our customers to tell us what they want from their services will help us to continue to make bus travel an attractive option in Sheffield.”