Bus passengers’ campaign result

People power: Protests held by residents in Fulwood over changes to buses have paid off with services reinstated.    Picture: Sarah Washbourn
People power: Protests held by residents in Fulwood over changes to buses have paid off with services reinstated. Picture: Sarah Washbourn
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Passengers are celebrating after bus bosses announced plans to reinstate services to a Sheffield neighbourhood following protests.

Almost 600 people from the Westminster Estate in Lodge Moor signed a petition against changes to services under the Optio Orange scheme, in which First and Stagecoach have agreed to share routes and fares between Halfway and Fulwood.

Under new timetables, launched on July 24, 120 journeys to Hallam Grange Road and the Westminster Estate were scrapped, with the service terminating on Barncliffe Road, Fulwood.

It left residents with a steep walk up or down hill to catch the 120 or the 51 from Redmires Road.

Now Stagecoach is asking for permission to extend its 123 service, which currently operates half-hourly between Crystal Peaks, the city centre and Endcliffe, to run into Fulwood to the Westminster Estate, from September 5.

Retired social worker, Nancy Grayson, aged 74, who led the campaign on the Westminster Estate to have buses reinstated, said: “The news is such a relief to everyone up here.

“It feels as if we have been listened to.”

The news was also given a cautious welcome by Jonathan Youdan, who works in Fulwood but lives off Burngreave Road.

He was unhappy that Stagecoach had stopped running the 120 during weekday daytimes because it meant he and his wife, who makes the same journey, had to switch to a more expensive First weekly bus pass.

But he added: “It remains to be seen how attractive the service is because, at the moment, the 123 only runs every half hour.”

Stagecoach said it has made a request to the Transport Commissioner for permission to extend the 123, although a precise route has not yet been officially registered.

Rupert Cox, commercial director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “Following customer feedback and discussions with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and First, we are working to reinstate Stagecoach buses to serve additional parts of Fulwood from September 5.

“Route options are currently being looked into and tested to ensure that the 123 serves as many people as possible including the Westminster estate and more information will be released in due course.”