VIDEO: 'Scruffy, dirty and smelly' - Passengers' shock footage shows state of modern buses in South Yorkshire
Fed-up passengers have written off the area'sÂ fleet of ageing buses as 'scruffy, dirty and smelly' and called for transport bosses to take action to improve the network.
Disgruntled commuters took aim at transport operator First, which serves hundreds of routes across South Yorkshire, and urged them to either replace old vehicles that are nearly 20 years old or to commence a huge clean up of the existing fleet.
Annual hikes in ticket prices were also criticised with passengers claiming they are not getting value for money despite promises from transport chiefs that this money will be put back into providing 'high quality' services.
They also blasted careless passengers for dropping litter and causing graffiti after First revealed they had to recently withdraw a fleet of new multi-million pound buses serving Sheffield due to frequent vandalism attacks.
Passengers posted video footage and pictures online showing litter such as newspapers and used food wrappers strewn across dirty bus floors in a bid to shame bus bosses and the public into action.
Transport chiefs said a team of cleaners routinely keep vehicles up to standard - but they echoed the public's call for passengers to make sure they put their litter in a bin.
Lisa Badloe, who posted a video to Facebook showing litter strewn on one service, appealed for First bosses to “get on the buses and fine these people who think it is okay to throw their rubbish."
She added: "If we left that stuff around our workplace for everyone to slip on then health and safety would have a field day.”
Nether Edge resident Andrew Barclay took pictures showing the apparent dirty state of the back of two buses during journeys undertaken between Nether Edge, Heeley and the city centre.
He said it was time some of the old services were condemned to the scrapheap.
Mr Barclay said: “Why should anybody want to travel on the bus network in Sheffield or South Yorkshire when you've got scruffy dirty smelly buses.
“When are First going to get some new buses to replace these buses in which some are nearing 20 years in service?"
He suggested bus companies should put up more signs warning passengers they face penalties for dropping litter.
Meanwhile, Liz Weber, who launched an online campaign against controversial bus timetable changes last year, said the standard of service is not matching the rate of price increases year-on-year for tickets.
The 52-year-old, of Grimesthorpe, said: "You don't get a lot for your money these days. About 60 per cent of the buses I use are clean, but others look decidedly scruffy."
More than 100 passengers also took to Facebook to vent their frustration.
George Stacey blamed the general public for "leaving their litter on the bus and treating them like cattle trucks" and William McAllister called for more passengers to "look after" buses better.
Kemmy Naylor put the problem down to "vandalism" which the "innocents then pay for."
In January, First removed their new fleet of £6 million X1 Streetdeck buses after repeated acts of vandalism on six of the buses, which serves Sheffield to Maltby via Meadowhall.
Mark Johnstone, fleet engineer for First, said: "We’re extremely disappointed to see pictures of untidy buses as this is not the experience that we want to offer to our customers, however the vehicles pictured are 15-years-old and unfortunately the regular process of our team removing graffiti from inside the bus has resulted in the interior looking discoloured – when in fact it is clean.
“We employ a team of cleaners who maintain the cleanliness of all of our vehicles, but we also need our customers to remember to remove their rubbish from the vehicles when they depart and to help stop people from vandalising our vehicles.
"We recently had to remove our newer X1 vehicles as we had made an investment of over £6m in these buses, but they were suffering from repeated vandalism.
“We will continue to investigate any concerns with the cleanliness of our vehicles as a matter of urgency to ensure that the interior of our vehicles is of a higher standard.”