First Buses have advised that they will be unable to run buses from Blackbrook Road to Lodge Moor terminus from Thursday 7 April to Tuesday 17 April, 7am-7pm, on weekdays only.
Because they will be forced to use Crimicar Lane to turn buses, this will mean the use of single deckers during the period. Last time this diversion was in place, a double decker received damage due to a tree at kerbside, so it is considered unsafe.
First are advising residents that while they will do their best, there is a possible risk of demand exceeding seating capacity on the service at peak periods and around school times.
Update 3 August: After all the fuss, it seems the 51 is going via Manchester Road/Coldwell Lane after all.
31 July, 9am update: First Bus have announced that they will provide a free shuttle bus between Crosspool and Brook Hill. This will operate every 30 minutes between approximately 7.30am and 6.30pm. No fares will be charged – this is to feed into the main 51 bus.
The 51 bus service will not run along part of Sandygate Road next week during the day due to road improvement works for the Streets Ahead project.
From Monday 3 to Friday 7 August, from 7am-7pm each day, 51 buses will run between Broomhill and Sandygate along Fulwood Road, Gladstone Road, Ivy Park Road, Carsick Hill Road and re-join the normal route on Sandygate Road to and form Lodge Moor.
Buses on services 273, 274 and 275 are not affected and will still run along Manchester Road and along Benty Lane and Sandygate Road travelling towards the city centre through Crosspool as normal.
At the Crosspool Forum Open Meeting last night concerns were raised in particular about families not being able to easily access Ryegate Children’s Centre on Manchester Road.
the impact of the tramline repairs and Charnock roadworks on the service
changes can be expected in September, including a full fleet of new double decker buses on the 51 route; exploring the possibility of splitting the route so buses from this end turn round at the markets then come back; improving punctuality with particular problems regarding accessibility on West Street (outbound);
concerns about the safety of passengers boarding the bus on Mappin Street
a named Route Manager for the 51 is to be introduced by the spring
attempts to solve the problem of bunching buses, which is acknowledged as a management rather than timetabling issue
whether other companies could also run buses on the route, like the 52 service
Adam and John have agreed to attend the next Crosspool Forum Open Meeting on 31 July to report back on their progress.
The three Crookes councillors (Sylvia Anginotti, Rob Frost and Geoff Smith) have been made aware by individuals and through the Crosspool Forum of dissatisfaction with the 51 bus. In particular with the failure of buses to run at the published times.
We were going to have a meeting with First and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) in January but unfortunately the bad weather forced a postponement and we were not able to meet until March.
You will remember that we were promised an improved service when the Bus Partnership arrangements started at the end of October 2012. This was going to be achieved in two ways; an additional bus on the route and a change of route to avoid Broad Lane.
The additional bus was put on but the change of route didn’t happen. This was because of the number of people who protested that they would not be able to get to the NHS walk in service.
SYPTE figures for complaints show a continued high level of complaints up to January of this year and then a falling off. This could be for either of two reasons; people have become fed up with complaining or there has been some improvement in the service.
SYPTE’s own figures for punctuality at stops on the route show an improvement from 72% punctuality pre-October 2012 rising to 84% recently. This is against a target of 95%. So even by their own figures there is still some way to go.
First admit that punctuality is still not good enough. They said that double deckers were part of the problem and that from early July they will be replaced by brand new single deckers which along with ticket issue speeding up should speed up overall loading times.
They are also putting an additional bus on the route on Saturdays from the end of April and making minor timetable changes. They gave us a list of traffic hotspots on the route which cause problems and we will be taking these up with the Council.
Also they warned that the service could be affected by planned roadworks across the city.
We will continue to have meetings with First and SYPTE. We will welcome your views and experience at the next meeting of the Crosspool Forum and please keep on complaining to SYPTE if you have problems with the 51.
Sylvia Anginotti, Rob Frost and Geoff Smith