Bus users in Rotherham express frustrations at 'unreliable' services
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion conducted a survey of bus users which received more than two thousand responses, revealing an overwhelmingly negative view of Rotherham’s existing bus service.
The Labour MP said the survey clearly highlighted “frustration and anger” among Rotherham bus users, and brought to light “substantial” issues with bus operator First.
She said: “The response was overwhelming and just went to show the huge frustration and anger people in Rotherham felt about the decline in their bus service. From punctuality to bus routes, across the board the responses were damning.”
The survey highlighted substantial issues with First, which operates many of Rotherham’s bus services. Ms Champion met with both the chief executive of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and the managing director of First to discuss the findings and measures needed to improve services across the borough.
The findings of the survey were then fed into a wider review of bus services conducted by Clive Betts MP for Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region, which recently published a report into services across South Yorkshire.
The report concluded that South Yorkshire bus services are not fit for the 21st century.
A number of promises have been made by central government to improve local public transport in South Yorkshire.
But the survey highlights the fact that passengers will not feel the effects of this for some time. It attracted 1,466 comments, many citing the ‘unrelaibility’ of services, with some reporting missing buses, long waits, delayed services, and long routes.
Out of 1,996 respondents, almost 50 percent said that bus services in Rotherham are ‘very unreliable’, with only seven percent calling the services reliable.
Nigel Eggleton, managing director of First South Yorkshire and Midlands, said they are “committed” to providing customers with a bus service they can rely on, and that work is being undertaken to improve First’s fleet.
Mr Eggleton said: “We acknowledge the response to this survey and fully recognise the frustrations our customers in Rotherham have faced with services not running as efficiently and reliably as they should.
“The fleet has been improved by replacing ageing vehicles which has enhanced overall performance, operating consistency and durability, so minimising the need for repairs and time off the road."
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