Clive Betts, MP, is correct when he points to the crisis in the city's public transport (Real problem of city public transport, 10/1/19).
I took my family - son, daughter-in-law, two grandchildren - to the Lyceum pantomime on the bus for "a treat". There and back cost £7.60 for journeys that are less than 15 minutes each way. The car would have cost £1 for parking and a bit more for the petrol, so taking the bus was considered a treat. The Lyceum was packed with children and families, the bus was empty, just us and the driver. I took a photo of the family on the bus to mark this special occasion. If travelling on a bus has become a treat funded by grandparents how are we to develop the habit of riding the buses in the next generation?
The city's transport is in crisis, but it was not always like this. Before privatisation in the 1980s, it cost 2p to travel anywhere in South Yorkshire and the buses were packed. Vested interests will do their best to block the way, but the solution is clear: bring buses back into public ownership, start reducing fares immediately, and let children and young people travel for free.
We need to think about transport in terms of social responsibility - how can we best unclog the streets and stop polluting our children's lungs? Clearly buses have to play a major role, but current social and economic policies are driving us all deeper into the crisis and towards earlier graves.