Markfield Drive bus services petition

We’ve joined forces with local residents to raise concerns after it was confirmed that proposed cuts to bus services from the Markfield Drive area of Flanderwell are likely to go ahead.

Joan Homer and other residents at the Blenheim Court sheltered housing complex started a petition requesting the Mayor of South Yorkshire, Dan Jarvis, ask for a re-think of the plans. The petition was signed by 70 local people from across the estate.

Councillors Emma Hoddinott and Chris Read joined two of the signatories, Patricia Gunthorpe and Rose Simmons, to present the petition to the Mayor.

At present, Markfield Drive is served by two buses each hour travelling between Rotherham and Doncaster, via Rotherham Hospital. Under the new plans, there will be just one bus an hour between Markfield Drive and the Hospital. Most buses will now bypass the estate altogether.

But that in turn causes problems because it means instead of five bus stops, residents on the estate will depend on just one on Fleming Way, which is often blocked by cars parked using local shops – making access difficult for residents with mobility problems or wheelchair users.

During the consultation we wrote formally to raise concerns about the changes but received no response.

For elderly residents like Pat and Rose, who live right at the far end of the Markfield Drive estate, the changes will mean that a trip to Morrisons to do their shopping requires them to walk a round trip of nearly a mile. They’ll have to walk past three bus stops each way every time. And instead of being able to travel to the hospital on a service every twenty minutes as it was a couple of years ago, it will now be once an hour. If they miss it, they’re stuck. For elderly residents, that can make the difference between living independently and being dependent on others.

Although overall the plans means that there will be more buses through Flanderwell and Sunnyside, they will be more difficult to catch for the very people who rely on them the most.

First could still easily correct their mistake by routing the new X10 service down Markfield Drive in just the same way as the number 10 does at the moment, and looking again at diverting just one of these buses each hour to the hospital – that would also help other residents living further along the route towards Maltby.

At the meeting of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, Mayor Dan Jarvis committed to investigate our concerns.

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