Today’s emergency transport meeting shows a broken system

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The emergency transport meeting, called by councillor Terry Fox, “is a sign that the system is broken”.

Councillor Fox called the emergency transport meeting this afternoon with the South Yorkshire mayor, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and transport providers Stagecoach and First.

The meeting was called due to Stagecoach and First’s recent changes to the Supertram  and bus services respectively, and in light of the upcoming Stagecoach bus driver strike.

These changes might not be the last to come, as Nigel Eggleton, Managing Director at First South Yorkshire, said: “We are continuing to monitor demand across all our services and individual journeys and will be concentrating our provision in these areas.”

First’s next review with potential service changes will be in January, when further adjustments may come into place as demand and travel patterns change.

Council leader Fox said: “Just when Christmas and winter are here, just when we need public transport to serve our communities, we see these draconian cuts.

Just when the City Council, along with our regional partners and the Mayoral Combined Authority have lobbied hard to get £100million in for Supertram and £20 million in for bus operators, this is a sign that the system is broken.”

Council leader Fox believes that the system is not delivering for Sheffield and has repeatedly called for the Mayor to start the formal process of investigating bus franchising as a way to deliver the service South Yorkshire needs.

He said: “I’m glad that this is now making progress.”

Lewis Dagnall, Labour candidate for South Yorkshire Mayor, agrees with the need for a franchised public transport system in Sheffield and sets the realisation of this as part of his campaign for South Yorkshire mayor.

He said: “The franchising of public transport would see the public mandating a network of routes that serve the public, but also a publicly owned bus and tram company that can put passengers before profit.”

Dagnall believes that the only solution to the current public transport problems in Sheffield is to take it private, therefore preventing cuts to the transport system in Sheffield merely based on profit.

Local pensioner, Alan Horner, agrees and said: “It’s the worst I’ve ever known the public transport in Sheffield and I have lived here over 80 years. It’s about time we got it back into public control.”

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