A PETITION from disgruntled bus passengers who catch vehicles in Sheffield city centre has attracted more than 1,600 names.
Organisers yesterday (Wednesday) handed in their protest about two bus stops on the 120 Halfway to Fulwood route, which is shared by First and Stagecoach, and addressed councillors at their monthly meeting at the town hall.
The petition complains that since the suspension of the 40 service that used to be on the route, “there is no bus from within the transport interchange to take railway users to hospitals, university, Broomhill and beyond.
“The 120 leaves from Pond Street, further from the railway station with no direct crossing. It is exposed and insecure.”
Passengers say the new stop is a 10-minute walk from the station, which is difficult for elderly and disabled people, and many are now taking taxis instead.
An objection is also being lodged on the basis of the 120 bus stop being moved a short distance from Church Street, opposite the Cathedral, to High Street, “where the pavement is crowded and there are too few seats”.
Members of South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority – councillors who discuss transport policy – are meeting today (Thursday) and will discuss both issues affecting the Optio Orange service.
Retired Sheffield University academic David Crossley, of Fulwood, who presented the petition, said the names were collected in a couple of weeks.
“We were quite surprised by the number of people who signed up and wanted to discuss the issues. People gathered round. It was quite impressive.”
In particular, elderly and disabled people were “very upset” at the loss of seats since the bus stop in Church Street had been swapped with the 52 stop in High Street.
Petitioners have the support of Liberal Democrat councillors in Broomhill.
Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, who is also Lib Dem leader in Sheffield, said: “Local Liberal Democrat councillors are supporting the hundreds of local residents who are calling on the transport authority to show some common sense and reverse their decision to move the bus stop.
“It is essential that the stop for this important service is located within the interchange, which is safe and accessible.
“The transport authority was wrong to move the stop without any consultation. From the size of the petition you can see the strength of feeling from users.
“Clearly the stop should be moved back, it would be a relatively small move but would make a big difference for users.”