Agenda item

Bus Operators - Update


(1)       First Group

(2)       Stagecoach

(3)       Rotherham Community Transport


First Group:

Paul Hopkinson, Network and Schedules Manager reported that a consultation session had been held at the beginning of February which ran for two weeks. It was successful and received good feedback and changes had been made to timetables as a result of the consultation. These would be distributed to SYMCA shortly if not already done so.


The journeys had been enhanced on services X1, X78 to give better connections, particularly for the morning services. The suggested revisions would continue as expected.


The extensions to the X5 service in the Dinnington/Maltby area had been received quite well as it was a new service. This provided better connections to Doncaster from the Maltby area and through from Sheffield.


Discussions highlighted the better connections around Dalton/Thrybergh with the X3 service however it was noted that the disruption with the evening services on the 115 and 116 routes were viewed as one-off incidents.



John Young, Commercial Director expressed his appreciation for the ability to have these discussions welcome the opportunity to receive feedback from the group.


The Rawmarsh depot was in a good position at the moment this was due to the provision of their first electric bus on site. This had been delivered ahead of the others to provide training opportunities for engineers and drivers. They would receive twenty-three new electric buses going into use on two routes that served Rotherham, which were the 22X and the 221. The launch date for this had been delayed but looking at a date in early May. The buses would look and feel quite different, they would be painted blue and would carry their own brand, Electro. He extended an open invitation to members and others who were part of this group to have a visit to see the vehicles at the Rawmarsh depot.


Services changes would come into effect from 6 April 2024. He confirmed that there would now be two service change dates within a year, these would be the weekend after Easter and the start of September.


He noted that the changes due in April were regarding the punctuality of services with the exception of the 72 and the 217 services which were being joined together. He expressed concerns that these scheduling changes were making the service less attractive but were necessary due to the increased traffic. This was not a new concern but worth reiterating given that some of the timetables had only been altered in October 2023 and changes were being made to them again only six months later.


Additional journeys were being added back in during the evenings and on Sundays for some routes. In October, due to funding issues, SYMCA reduced frequencies on a number of routes. The frequency was maintained on some routes at those times however following feedback a combination of additional services and improved punctuality should produce a more attractive service for customers. The main frequency increase that was now available due to staff availability was to service 221, from Rotherham, through Swinton to Doncaster was increasing in frequency from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes during the daytime, Monday to Saturday.


The UK Bus Awards took place last month and Dawn Murphy, Operations Manager at the Rawmarsh depot was presented with the award for UK Bus Manager of the Year. Also, one of her control team, Lisa, was highly commended in the Best Newcomer award as well. The Chair requested formally that the groups congratulations be recorded for those two individuals.



1.    that anyone wishing to visit the Rawmarsh dept to view the new electric buses should contact Dawn Mitchell, Governance Advisor for this to be arranged with John Young.

2.    That formal congratulations to Dawn Murphy and Lisa be recorded in the minutes for their awards at the UK Bus Awards.


Rotherham Community Transport:

No representative was in attendance.


Agreed: That the Head of Transport Infrastructure Service would contact the Rotherham Community Transport service to discuss attendance at or the provision of written updates for future meetings.