Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Euro-VI powered Routemaster

As many may be aware Sir Peter Hendy (now of Network Rail and previously Transport for London), is an enthusiastic bus man, and the proud owner of a former Park Royal bodied London Transport Routemaster, RM 1005 (5 CLT). The bus is a regular performer at a whole host and eclectic mix of events up and down the country.

Produced in 1960 the type was originally powered by AEC AV 590 9.6 litre engines and mechanical units. They also featured fully automatic air-operated epicyclic gearbox and power-assisted steering.
Now some 56-years on and after much development and change with engine specification, this particular Routemaster has become to be fitted with a Cummins ISB4.5 Euro-VI diesel engine and has achieved a 132 hp (97 kW) rating.

The work was undertaken by Cummins Darlington Technical Centre and Portobello Engineering at their Whatstandwell premises in Derbyshire. This project now makes the iconic red London bus able to meet the strict rules and regulations that will come into effect in the Capital's Ultra Low Emissions Zone from 2020.
The Focus Transport team were recently present at the BUSES magazine organised event held at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon in Warwickshire, where the bus made an appearance hot foot from its previous day's antics at the annual Imberbus event on the Salisbury Plain Ministry of Defence land. Some evidence of that day's operation was still visible, but did not detract from the interesting mechanics of the bus.

Below are some images of the 'lump' now fitted within the confines of the bodywork.

And finally.

The exhaust has been rather nicely incorporated into the bar beneath the bodywork towards the rear of the bodywork, just ahead of the rear offside set of wheels.


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

No newts is good news

Ilkeston bridge work on newt delay railway station

Work has started on a footbridge at the site of a £10m railway station where construction efforts stalled due to concerns over rare great crested newts.
Ilkeston in Derbyshire is one of the largest towns in the UK without a rail station after its previous one closed in 1967, due to Dr.Beeching's cuts.
However, the project suffered several delays, notably because of newts that had to be trapped and reloacted.
The station, off Millership Way, is due to open later this year.

Plans to dismantle the old bridge were postponed after foundation work on the new platforms took longer than expected.
It is the latest delay to the project which first got the go-ahead in January 2014 - work was due to start six months later.
However, the rare newts - a species protected by law - were found during a routine ecological site survey and work was ordered not to begin until they were removed.
Flooding concerns at the site delayed the project further, and again in February 2015 when even more newts were found, prompting some to question the species' rarity.

The delays "disappointed" local councillors and "frustrated" the then transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
Work finally started to demolish the old station in March 2015.
Councillor Dean Collins, from the county council, said: "The new station will be a great boost to the area.
"Large-scale engineering projects like this can often unearth unforeseen issues and while we've had a few setbacks, we're working hard to get the station up and running as soon as we can."

A number of road closures will be in place while the old footbridge is taken down and the new one erected.

Once the station opens, services to Chesterfield, Sheffield, Leeds and Nottingham will begin with 160,000 passengers expected to pass through the station.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Glasgow Subway to Extend Hours?

Subway trains in Scotland’s largest city could run into the small hours to boost Glasgow’s burgeoning night-time economy. Extending the service after midnight will be possible after the system’s £288 million upgrade is completed. 

The current trains are 36 years old and were manufactured by Metro-Cammell
It would give clubbers and other late-night revellers an alternative to lengthy taxi queues and infrequent night buses. Glasgow’s night-time economy generates £2.16 billion for the city and supports 16,000 jobs, the first study of its kind showed in June. These figures take into account activity in restaurants, bars, clubs and fitness centres. 
News of the plans comes as the first 24-hour London Underground trains were launched on Friday night. The weekend service on the Victoria and Central lines is expected to add £360m to the city’s night-time economy. 

In Glasgow, overnight maintenance work to keep its 119-year-old Subway going limits its opening hours. Repairs are constantly required to the Victorian tunnels, track and drainage. The trains, which are 36 years old, are also increasingly difficult to keep running. 

The last Subway services leave stations in the city centre for their depot in Govan at around 11.30pm six days a week and at 6pm on Sundays. However, the system’s major overhaul along with new trains are expected to significantly reduce the amount of nightly maintenance required when the work is completed in 2021.

 Contracts have been awarded to Stadler Bussnang AG / Ansaldo STS Consortium for the supply of new trains, signalling and equipment. Track gauge is only 4ft (1219mm)
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, which runs the Subway, said it was already planning for later running. Senior director Charlie Hoskins told Scotland on Sunday: “I take it as read that we will be doing that. “We will definitely be looking at running till the small hours. “The case for doing this will grow over the next four or five years as the night-time economy expands. “Lighter maintenance can be done over shorter hours.” 

The Subway already stays open occasionally to get passengers home from late-evening concerts and festive events. Trains typically stay running for an extra hour. This service, which is not advertised, will operate for the Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Biffy Clyro gigs in Bellahouston Park next weekend. 
Professor John Lennon, director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development at Glasgow Caledonian University, who wrote the study on the night-time economy, said later trains would give it a further lift. He said: “Any extension to underground trains later into the night can only be beneficial for the city. “The idea that we are stopping the service at a time when other cities are in full swing makes us less competitive for visitors. “A big part of what cities offer to visitors and residents is transportation. “We limit the night-time economy significantly if there are barriers to it.”

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Tunnel Proposal across the North

Routes unveiled for Sheffield-Manchester road tunnel plan

Five possible routes for a tunnel between Sheffield and Manchester have been unveiled.
The Department for Transport (DfT) said the tunnel, which would bore through the Peak District, could halve journey times between the two cities.
It described the scheme as "the most ambitious road scheme undertaken in the UK in more than five decades".
The Campaign for Better Transport described the scheme as a "folly" and claimed it would increase pollution.
Bridget Fox, from the group, said: "The enormous sums of money and expertise being spent on this speculative exercise would be better used on proven solutions and improving everyday travel."
The plans would link the M60 motorway east of Manchester to the M1 north of Sheffield.
A feasibility report published last year by Highways England said the project would include a tunnelled section, which could range between 20-30km (12 -19 miles), making it one of the longest road tunnels ever built.

The DfT said the tunnel "could provide an economic boost to the two cities as well as the surrounding area, as well as reducing traffic through the Peak District National Park".
Transport Minister John Hayes said: "I want people in the north of England to benefit from quicker, more reliable journeys.
"Today's study brings us a step closer to building a Trans-Pennine roads tunnel - it would be the most ambitious project since the construction of the first motorways 50 years ago."
A DfT spokesman said that no timeframe for building the tunnel had been decided, nor had the cost or sources of funding been identified.
A final report on the economic benefits of each route is expected by the end of the year.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

London's Night Tube Starts

London's Night Tube service began last night on the 19th August. Since the world's first underground system opened in 1863, people have had to avoid missing the last service of the day - which has often meant a last minute dash at the end of the night.
But with the introduction of a 24-hour service that will soon be a thing of the past in London- on Fridays and Saturdays at least.

Initially the service will run on the Victoria and Central lines but will spread to the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines later this year.
Passengers will be as safe on London's Night Tube as they are on the daytime service, police have said.
The all-night service began on the whole of the Victoria Line from Walthamstow Central to Brixton and the Central Line between Ealing Broadway and Hainault or Loughton Stations on the Friday night/Saturday morning. It is anticipated to spread to the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines later this autumn.
Supt Chris Horton, of British Transport Police (BTP), said about 100 officers would be on patrol.
He added: "There should be no reason why people can't be as safe at night as they are in the day."
The service will run on Friday and Saturday evenings. Tube services usually end at about 00:30 on many lines.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has given £3.4m towards the cost of providing a visible police presence.

Ch Supt Horton said policing the Night Tube would be no different to tackling the weekend rush and the main policing challenge would be dealing with people who were "a bit worse for wear" after drinking alcohol.
He said: "Making sure that we look after people, which is our main purpose, but also making sure that people behave themselves and don't cause other people to fear crime.
"That is the main challenge for us but it's the same issue we have on a Friday and Saturday at the moment."

BTP officers are "determined to make sure it's a safe environment" and will focus on known "hotspots" in central London and at the far ends of the network.

New 24-hour bus services

In addition to 123 services already in operation on the Night Bus Network, eight further daytime routes commenced nighttime operation at the same time and became 24-hour services on Friday and Saturday nights.

Mr Khan said: "The routes will go hand-in-hand with the Night Tube to help Londoners get to and from their front door throughout the night.
"It's another key step in helping everyone travel quickly and safely at night, and another boost to unlocking the full potential of our night-time economy."

New 24-hour routes on Friday and Saturday nights only:
  • 34 -   Barnet Church & Walthamstow Central Station operated by Metroline Travel
  • 123 - Ilford High Road & Wood Green Station operated by Arriva
  • 145 - Leytonstone & Dagenham operated by Stagecoach
  • 158 - Stratford & Chingford Mount operated by Stagecoach
  • 296 - Ilford Broadway & Romford Station operated by Stagecoach
  • E1 -  Greenford Broadway & Ealing Broadway Station operated by Abellio
  • W3 - Finsbury Park Station & Northumberland Park Station operated by Arriva
  • W7 - Finsbury Park Station & Muswell Hill Broadway operated by Metroline Travel

Two further daytime routes commenced 24-hour operation on Friday and Saturday nights only from Friday 30th September:

  • 114 - Mill Hill Broadway Station & Ruislip Station operated by Metroline West
  • 183 - Golders Green Station & Pinner operated by London Sovereign
Prior to the commencement of these new nightime routes, as of the 9th July 2016 the peak vehicle requirement of buses across the network of a Saturday night was 976 vehicles. Since then this peak requirement will have grown significantly.

Tube workers and volunteers have been putting the new service to the test.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Airlander 10 - The World's largest Aircraft

The maiden flight of the Airlander 10 took place on August 17th from the historic Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire. The helium-filled craft aims to kickstart a new age of the airship.
All objectives of the planned flight were accomplished and the aircraft is now safely back at its masting site.

At 92m long and 43.5m wide, this is the world’s largest aircraft, dwarfing heavyweights such as the Airbus A380 “superjumbo”. It is cheaper, too, with a price of £25m, compared with $375m (£287m) for an A380.
It can also carry a 10-tonne payload, comparable with military transport helicopters such as the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, the US Air Force’s workhorse of choice. Potential uses include tourist pleasure cruises, cargo transport and disaster relief.

Airlander 10 took off from the historic Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire, England at approximately 19:45 on Wednesday 17th of August, after a short flight it landed at 20:00, before dark.

The two Test Pilots were ecstatic about the flight and the flight performance of Airlander during its time in the air. 

According to the Hybrid Air Vehicles website click here
"The first flight of Airlander 10 is a historic success and marks the commencement of Airlander 10’s Flight Test Programme which is expected to last for a number of months. After which the aircraft will begin a series of Trials and Demonstrations with prospective customers". 

Customer interest is strong due to the game-changing capabilities of the Airlander – it offers a stable platform with huge amounts of power and space for search & rescue or communications equipment, and also offers a unique passenger experience.

Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns said, "It was privilege to fly the Airlander for the first time and it flew wonderfully. I’m really excited about getting it airborne. It flew like a dream."

The four massive but quiet engines were started approximately 30 minutes before takeoff. Once airborne, Chief Test Pilot David Burns, accompanied by Test Pilot Simon Davies, flew the majestic Airlander within a 6 mile (5 nautical mile) area around Cardington Airfield, just to the south of Bedford, in England. Airlander climbed to a height of 500ft and reached a
maximum speed of 35 knots. Due to a later than anticipated take-off time the Airlander was limited to a 19 minute flight so we could land safely before darkness fell.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Hong Kong Kowloon firm to buy 500 vehicles from Wrightbus

Ballymena's Wrightbus is celebrating after securing a multi-million pound order for 500 buses.
The company, which employs 2,000 people in Co Antrim, will be supplying the vehicles to the Kowloon Motor Bus Company in Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories area.
There are already 500 Wright buses on the regions' roads following earlier deals.
Company chairman and co-founder William Wright revealed news of the latest multimillion-pound contract win in an exclusive interview with the Belfast Telegraph.
Mr Wright, who created the company with his father Robert in 1946, said: "Hong Kong can easily buy buses from China, but they come to us (when they want) quality."
While he declined to reveal the total value of the deal, he admitted that it came to "quite a bit of money".
Mr Wright said he was happy with the order and also happy with the outcome of the EU referendum.
The business boss, one of the few industry leaders in Northern Ireland to publicly back a Brexit, condemned the banks' and stock markets' "hysterical" reaction to the result.
"When it comes down to it, the European Union has just been about a trade deal - although some of the countries have been trying to make it another America of federal states," he insisted.
Mr Wright also claimed that EU laws on cigarette packaging had directly resulted in the closure of tobacco giant JTI Gallaher's factory in Ballymena. The plant is to shut completely next year, although lay-offs have already started.
Tyre maker Michelin is also to close its local plant in 2018, with the loss of 860 jobs.
"What bugs me is that 1,000 people in Ballymena have lost their jobs in tobacco manufacturing at JTI because the EU has stated you can no longer buy 10-packs of cigarettes," the Wrightbus chairman said.
"That's supposedly to stop young people smoking, but I've checked out prices. A pack of 10 would have cost £3.69 and 20 would cost £6.89. I don't think anything would stop a young person who wants to smoke from paying an extra £3."
Returning to the implications of a Brexit, he maintained he was confident that the UK would be able to negotiate strong trade deals with the remaining EU member states.
"German car manufacturers send 20% of their output to the UK, and others, like Renault and Peugeot are in the same situation," Mr Wright said.
"Those countries will want a decent trade deal as much as the UK (will want one). It's not sensible for them to want to punish the UK."
The leading businessman also told how worries over immigration had influenced his pro-Brexit stance. "I do think immigration should be held at a reasonable level," he said, adding that he was concerned that many immigrants arrived without essential skills.
However, he revealed that his company employed a number of Romanians and said: "We don't discriminate - all we look for are skilled people."
Dismissing fears that local firms would suffer in the wake of the EU results, Mr Wright insisted: "We've learned ourselves to take these things and find a way around them."
He also said he was looking forward to meeting London Mayor Sadiq Khan - the successor to Leave campaigner Boris Johnson, who also bought 1,000 buses from his firm.
"I think I will have a lot in common with him," he added. "Wrightbus started with the two of us in a tin shed, so I know all about austerity - and Sadiq's parents came over from Pakistan. His father was a bus driver. They had a tough time, but they made it."
The Wrightbus chairman told how his company did limited business in Europe and had sold only eight buses - to a Dutch customer - there in recent years.
He said most European bus companies were State-owned "and don't want to take chances and try anything new", but added: "We have salespeople looking at Europe regularly."
Rather than focusing on the continent, the company makes many of its sales in Great Britain and the Republic, also exporting vehicles to China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India.
Wrights Group is Ballymena's biggest employer and with all the closures will soon be its last significant manufacturer.
In its latest results, the company almost more than doubled pre-tax profits to £11.6m on turnover of £297m.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Tunnel Proposal across the River Thames

Plans for multi-billion pound tunnel under the Thames

Plans for a new multi-billion tunnel under the Thames to link Essex and Kent have been shortlisted along with a new junction on the M25.
It would be the first new crossing of the Thames east of London since the Queen Elizabeth II bridge opened 25 years ago and it is aimed at easing pressure on the Dartford Crossing.
After looking at various options, Highways England is recommending a tunnel from East Tilbury in Essex under the river to Chalk in Kent.
A new junction would be built on the M25 between junctions 29 and 30 with a road leading through to Orsett and then onto the new tunnel.

Highways England is consulting on its preferred route for a new road from the M25 to the M2 under the Thames at East Tilbury.

There is no timetable for when the new crossing would be built and it is estimated to cost £1.2 to £3.4 billion.
The proposals are now open to consultation.
“The government is committed to delivering a Lower Thames Crossing which will increase capacity and provide better, faster journeys across the Thames.
“Once complete it could add over £7 billion to the economy by increasing investment and business opportunities, and create over 5,000 new jobs nationally.”
– Andrew Jones, Roads Minister

Although Highways England has put forward its recommended option, there are other routes being consulted on including three in Essex.
“There are important choices to be made. As well as inviting comments from the public about our recommendations, we have identified three routes for the new road to the north of the river and two routes south of the river. We welcome views on them all.
“This consultation is your chance to have your say on a once-in-a-generation, multi-billion pound investment that will have wide ranging effects for decades."
– Martin Potts, Highways England
 There are various options for the route from the M25 to the M2.

There are various options for the route from the M25 to the M2. Credit: Highways England

There will be 24 public exhibitions held at venues across Kent and Essex and consultation will be open until 24 March 2016.
Highways England says all responses will be taken into consideration before a final decision is made by the Government later this year.

Live traffic updates to be displayed on London buses

Live traffic information will be displayed on the back of buses in a six-month trial to help ease congestion on London's roads.

The new technology is being tested on route 344 between Clapham Junction and Liverpool Street, Transport for London (TfL) says.
The boards will show details of road closures and congested areas.
The trial will be expanded to buses between Tulse Hill and Liverpool Street in the autumn.
The boards, which are fed by TfL's 24-hour traffic control centre and use GPS to give up-to-date information, could be introduced across London if the trial is successful.

Garrett Emmerson, TfL's chief operating officer for surface transport, said: "We're focused on keeping London moving and on giving drivers real-time information through a range of channels to help them avoid congested roads and reduce wasted time and needless pollution from idling cars."

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Mercedes Demonstrates Future Bus Equipped With City Pilot

The Mercedes Future Bus is based on the firm's 12-m (39-ft) long Citaro bus model and is powered by a 220-kW (299-hp) Mercedes-Benz OM 936 in-line six-cylinder engine. The CityPilot component is a technology platform that is layered on to the vehicle, affording it automated lane-keeping, longitudinal guidance, acceleration and braking functionalities. It builds upon the technology used by Mercedes' autonomous Actros truck. Combining connectivity, camera and radar systems and is described by Mercedes as "a milestone on the way to the autonomous city bus."

The interior design of the bus is open-plan and is said to have been inspired by city squares and parks. There are three different zones that accommodate passengers based on how long they will be on the bus, with upwards-branching grab rails and ceiling lights that, the company says, resemble a leaf canopy.

While that might all be very pleasant, the bus itself doesn't seem like it will accommodate all that many passengers, as the company has chosen an open and airy layout over one that maximizes seating space.
Passengers board and alight via two sets of double-width doors halfway along the body of the bus. Green luminescent bands indicate which set of doors should be used when entering or leaving and red bands indicate which shouldn't be used. This, along with the position of the doors and an electronic ticket system, is employed to speed up passenger flow.

A newly designed and simplified cockpit is part of the main compartment, rather than being separated. Information is presented to drivers on a large display and they, in turn, are able to relay information and entertainment to passengers via monitors.
The bus has a top speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) and the driver does not need to accelerate, brake or steer. He needs only control the bus to the extent that traffic regulations require, but can take control in the event that he needs to. In fact, CityPilot is said to improve safety by way of eliminating human error, as well as to improve efficiency and comfort through smoother driving.

The system employs 10 cameras to scan the road and the vehicle's surroundings. Four short-range radar sensors monitor distances from 50 cm (20 in) to 10 m (33 ft) ahead of the bus and two stereo cameras with a range of up to 50 m (164 ft) provide 3D vision and obstacle recognition. The route ahead is monitored by long- and short-range radar systems, while GPS, lane-tracking cameras and four cameras for global visual location are all used to determine the position of the bus within its surroundings. An additional two cameras look downwards so as to "read" the road surface and three others record aspects of the journey such as the movements of the bus and the actions of the driver.
The data from all these sources is brought together by a process known as data fusion, which creates a precise picture of the bus' situation and environment, allowing it to be maneuvered to within centimeters of objects such as curbs, according to Mercedes. The bus is able to recognize traffic lights and used them to safely negotiate junctions, recognize obstacles — including pedestrians — brake autonomously as required, and to stop and open its doors at bus stops automatically.

The Future Bus with CityPilot was recently demonstrated on the Airport Line 300 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route between Amsterdam-Schiphol airport and Haarlem in the Netherlands.

A Mercedes YouTube Video can be seen here

Volvo Olympian Running Day

To mark the final withdrawal of step-entrance vehicles from service, Stagecoach Midlands will be running 2 Volvo Olympian vehicles on various Northampton-based services on Saturday 20th August. Journeys these vehicles are planned to operate are as follows:

Route 1 - 0919 Northampton Bus Station to Rectory Farm 0956
Route 1 - 0956 Rectory Farm to Northampton Bus Station 1034
Route 1 - 1059 Northampton Bus Station to Rectory Farm 1136
Route 1 - 1136 Rectory Farm to Northampton Bus Station 1214
Route 1 - 1239 Northampton Bus Station to Rectory Farm 1316
Route 1 - 1316 Rectory Farm to Northampton Bus Station 1354

Route D2 - 0913 Northampton Drapery to Daventry Lang Farm 1010
Route D2 - 1010 Daventry Lang Farm to Northampton Drapery 1108

Route 3 - 1459 Northampton Drapery to Piddington 1531
Route 3 - 1533 Piddington to Northampton Drapery 1605
Route 3 - 1610 Northampton Drapery to Horton Gates 1642
Route 3 - 1644 Horton Gates to Northampton Drapery 1716

Route X7 - 1130 Northampton Drapery to Milton Keynes 1220
Route X7 - 1225 Milton Keynes to Northampton Bus Station 1316

Route X47 - 1430 Northampton Bus Station to Raunds 1603
Route X47 - 1605 Raunds to Northampton Bus Station 1748

Please note these journeys are subject to change and vehicle availability; normal low floor vehicles will also be running on these journeys. Our Platinum Dayrider ticket at £11.70 offers the best value for anyone wishing to travel on all the journeys on the day.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Discontent with forthcoming bus service change in Sheffield

From the Sheffield Star online news

Sheffield transport chiefs have admitted controversial bus changes coming into force this September have not been explained properly to the public.

Councillors told a meeting with bus operators many residents have raised fears their communities will be ‘isolated’ by a series of changes to routes – with big concerns in Tinsley, Firth Park and Manor Castle.
Around 400 households in Tinsley are set to have services to Sheffield city centre reduced in the autumn.
Councillors said they had not been given any advance notice of the planned changes – despite Sheffield Council being part of the official bus partnership – and had not been able to explain why changes were being introduced.
Transport bosses claimed the majority of the changes are both ‘minor and positive’ aimed at improving punctuality and reliability – but admitted they had failed to get the message across why services were being altered.
Stephen Edwards, executive director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: “Clearly the communication hasn’t worked and hasn’t given you the information you want and need.
“We will look at how we can improve that.”
One of the biggest changes in September will be the end of the number 69 Sheffield to Rotherham service which runs through Tinsley.

It will be replaced by a more regular X1 service. But of the 1,200 households in Tinsley currently reachable on the 69 bus, only 800 will fall within the new route - leaving 400 homes with only one service an hour into the city rather than the current three.
Other major changes will see four bus services catering for pupils at Sheffield’s Catholic schools axed following a decision made by the council last year.
Councillor Steve Wilson, chairman of the Economic and Environmental Wellbeing Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee, said all councillors had been informed of the widespread route changes on July 8.
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for transport, said he was concerned there had not been enough consultation about the latest changes and concerns had been raised with him about alterations to services in Firth Park.

He said he had been led to believe there would be no further changes to bus services following the controversial changes last November.
“We can’t be isolating communities, that is the bottom line,” he said.
He asked for the service changes to be suspended until further consultation takes place.
Councillor Iqbal said he was concerned about the cancellation of the 69 service and the potential impact on ‘elderly residents who rely on public transport’.
“People think it is the council making these changes, it is the operators,” he said.
“I would like these to be reconsidered and withdrawn from the table until the public say this is something that could work for us.
“People feel they are being isolated.”
Bus operators said they would look at concerns about specific routes but the wider programme would go ahead in September.
Councillor Paul Wood said residents’ comments in areas such as Manor Castle and Tinsley suggested the bus services they were receiving were ‘not acceptable’ to them.
He said councillors cannot explain why changes are being made if they are not informed of them first.
“We are the ones who will take the blame,” he said.
“The public want to know what we are doing. If you are making decisions we don’t know about, there is very little we can do about it.”
Mr Edwards said it appeared there was a ‘disconnect’ in communication to councillors which needed to be improved.
Councillor Ian Auckland said bus operators appeared unwilling to alter their plans for September despite concerns being raised.
“The email to members said if you have a got a problem, let us know, It seemed to imply there was some wriggle room,” he said.
“I passed that on to some of the people who contacted me.
“I quoted that back to somebody involved in making representations. They got the reply ‘We have got no intention of changing it, it is too late now’.”
Councillor Martin Smith said: “It is clear that at best there is a perception that the agreed processes weren’t followed.
“There is a fair degree of public disquiet.”
Mr Belfield said all of the changes are intended to be improvements.
“The changes in September should further improve punctuality and mileage coverage,” he said.
“It is a shame it is being perceived in a negative way. Overall, it is a positive move for the city and South Yorkshire.”
John Young, from Stagecoach, said: “After the service changes made in November and the subsequent amendments in January and February to restore punctuality, punctuality is at its highest level it has ever been.
“It is important to stress no changes is not a good thing. We need to make sure people understand what the changes are and why they are being made.
“At least 75 per cent of the changes we make are for punctuality. There is a lot of science that goes into the details.
“A lot of the changes we make are a) minor and b) positive because they will make sure buses run on time.
“The key thing is the communications. It is clear that needs to be improved.”