Call for new missed bus payouts after Sheffield cuts agreed

A call for a new scheme to compensate bus passengers if their service does not turn up was made at a meeting of transport chiefs.

Sheffield Graves Park Coun Ian Auckland made the suggestion as transport chiefs agreed cuts to bus services across the city on Tuesday.

He criticised the reduction of some buses to run on an hourly basis and said that people should be able to claim back the cost of a taxi through a united scheme if their last bus did not arrive.

Coun Auckland also said that bus operators should ‘prioritise’ the running of hourly services if they were short on staff as losing those buses from the timetable had a bigger impact on passengers than those on- more frequent services.

David Young, from the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said he would take the suggestions on board and seek to discuss it with operators.

Some schemes run by individual operators did exist, but there was ‘low’ takeup of them.

Campaigners have vowed to keep fighting the bus cuts, which are said to amount to ten per cent of the network.

The changes from the Sheffield Bus Partnershipo will apply from the end of October.

Meanwhile, the South Yorkshire Freedom Riders who protested against cuts to concessionary travel last year are celebrating a minor victory.

A trial scheme that allowed elderly Barnsley bus users with hospital appointments to travel for free before 9.30am on Stagecoach buses is to be extended on a permanent basis across South Yorkshire. Passengers must show their hospital appointment letter or card.

Freedom Rider Tony Nuttall said he was ‘really pleased’ with the result of the campaign.