There’s been an appalling drop in bus service reliability in Sheffield over the last few months. Complaints going unanswered and little improvement. This needs challenging!

Green party activist James Martin writes: “It has become clear we need to work together. I’ve also found it is possible if good records of complaints are kept to seek enforcement action from the Traffic Commissioners.”

The Green Transport group cannot handle your complaint, but we can help people be aware they are not alone if you Copy us in on e-mails. With a better overview of how many routes and areas are suffering we can share an overview to support each other. Here’s what to do.

  1. Keep a weekly record of all late and missing buses. You might find it useful to use this template table.
    (i.e. more than 5 minutes late or if it doesn’t come before the next one due then it is missing)
  2. At the end of the week, send an email to the relevant bus company for each route, CC in SYPTE(1) and the Sheffield Green Party transport group. Please do use the template in item 1 to layout your complaint. (Keep the emails you send they might be needed as evidence!)
  3. The bus company for your route should deal with the complaint. They have 14 working days to reply.
    Note: SYPTE only log/forward complaints and can compile statistics.
  4. If you do not hear from the company then…
    Contact Bus Users UK(2) with your complaint, stating you have not received a response or why it was inadequate and highlighting the broader issues. They will advise you on the next steps.
    enquiries@bususers.org
  5. Keep sending one weekly email to everyone (Until there are few or no issues!)

Please note you might not hear directly from the Sheffield Green Party Transport group depending on the volume of e-mails but we will periodically publish updates and might send a generic e-mail encouraging you to update us on how your complaint was handled by the operator.

Glossary:

  1. SYPTE = South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive is the public body which liaises with the bus companies (but not complaints!). It has little power and even less money to support services. (thanks to government cuts in funding!).
  2. Bus Users UK is the independent body which can access mechanisms for enforcement action on Scheduled Bus services. They will be able to advise on the next steps.

Other bus operator contact details:

Complaint template

Make sure to replace all the items in square brackets with information.

Dear sir/madam,

I am writing to you to complain about the following bus services this week. I am seeking action and a reply from the Operator and CCing others for their complaint statistics.

The following buses were missing departing from [Stop name] towards [Route Number] [Destination]:

Date        Timetable Time         Actual Departure time
[Date]      [Timetable Time]         [or state if you gave up]

The service ran late on the following occasions from [Stop name] towards [Route Number]:

Date        Timetable Time         Actual Time service arrived
[Date]      [Timetable Time]         [Actual Time]

I am very [annoyed] by the poor service this week and would like to know how you as the Operator are going to make this situation right for me and other long suffering passengers. I look forward to your reply within the next 14 working days or there is insufficient explanation and information for making improvements I will raise this matter with Bus Users UK.

Yours sincerely,

Download bus complaints template (pdf)

Download bus complaints template (Word)

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