Uphill battle for Sheffield pensioners in bus changes row

Frustrated pensioners have claimed they face a walk up one of the steepest hills in Sheffield for a bus following timetable changes.

People living on Shiregreen Lane, Wincobank, said they had to walk up and down Jenkin Road, which was the steepest climb during the 2014 Tour de France.

Residents on Shiregreen Lane and surrounding roads are unhappy that the bus service has been stopped. Picture: Andrew Roe.

Residents on Shiregreen Lane and surrounding roads are unhappy that the bus service has been stopped. Picture: Andrew Roe.

But transport bosses have insisted the group have access to buses every ten minutes between Shiregreen Lane and Jenkin Road, at the junction of Wincobank Avenue, ‘with no need for any pensioner to walk up or down the hill to catch a bus’.

Wincobank Tenants’ and Residents’ Association (TARA) held a meeting with transport bosses on Wednesday to try and get a service reinstated.

Anne Adam, of Shiregreen Lane, said: “This is a major road and we have always had the circular route to and from Sheffield city centre. Itused to be the number 3 and 59, then it changed to number 35 but now there is nothing.

“People have to walk down to Wincobank Avenue and there are lot of disabled pensioners who can’t get to the community centre, Concord Sports Centre, because there are no buses running.”

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Mrs Adam, 76, said First South Yorkshire had agreed to run a ‘ghost bus’ up Shiregreen Lane to test timings as part of an investigation into whether to reinstate a bus.

She added: “The bus company said that the bus was withdrawn because there weren’t enough people paying fares because of the free bus pass but there is more than ust pensioners who used them.

“The changes have left us stranded because the bus is right at the bottom of the road and when you’re old or disabled it’s too far.

“People are spending a fortune on taxi fares because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to get out.”

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Allan Riggall, head of commercial at First South Yorkshire, said: “We attended a meeting at the community centre about local bus services and we are engaging with the local community about their alternative services available.”

Tim Taylor, director of customer services for South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, disputed the pensioners' claims and said all residents ‘lived within 400m of at least one bus service on Shiregreen Lane.

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He added: “This local area is currently served by four different bus routes.  Services 3 and 3a operate every 10 minutes at the Jenkin Road end of Shiregreen Lane, with services 75 and 76 each running every 12 minutes at the Bellhouse Road end towards Sheffield Lane Top. 

“For those unable to access these buses, SYPTE funds Community Transport services which provide Door 2 Door ‘Dial-a-Ride’ and ‘Shopper Bus’ services.  People can register for Community Transport services by calling 0114 2859906.

“The bus stops on Shiregreen Lane have remained in place because they are still in use by the school buses serving children in the local community.”