Extra school buses introduced following claims Sheffield kids 'left stranded'

First buses.
First buses.

Extra buses are to be introduced following concerns that school children as young as 11 have been left stranded on the city streets and unable to get to lessons due to lack of transport services.

Widespread changes to more than 60 services across the city have so far sparked a public outcry from disgruntled passengers who claim key routes have been left poorly served.

There has been particular concern that not enough buses have been introduced to replace dozens of routes on the school run previously served by BrightBus which ended in the summer.

A teacher claimed this has led to as many as 70 children being crammed dangerously together at some bus stops.

In addition, it is claimed other buses serving Notre Dame High School in Ranmoor and Bradfield School in Worrall have simply driven past waiting passengers as they are full to capacity, leaving youngsters stranded miles away from the school gates.

But transport bosses have now vowed to introduce several new services.

A South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive spokesperson said: "To address capacity issues at Notre Dame High School, an additional afternoon bus, number 785, commenced service on September 11. An additional morning bus, number 83b, will also commence from September 25.

"To address capacity issues at Bradfield School, an additional morning and afternoon service will commence on September 25."

The move comes after a teacher, who did not want to be identified, told how parents have been called out of work to give their stranded children hastily-arranged lifts, while school staff are often asked to wait after lessons to look after children having problems getting home.

For two decades BrightBus transported around 15, 000 passengers a day to and from the school gates but managing director Mick Strafford wound up the firm in the summer due to 'ill health'.

SYPTE pledged to find a replacement or alternative travel for all 78 routes affected that serve 32 schools but did accept that some pupils 'will not have direct links previously provided by BrightBus'.

Alongside BrightBus changes, First and Stagecoach announced changes to 64 routes across the region from September.

Ben Gilligan, SYPTE's director of public transport, accepted more changes could be on the way to address parents' concerns.

He added: “We would like to reassure parents that all services will continue to be monitored closely to allow us to investigate and make changes where necessary to resolve any issues which have arisen.”