Councillor Ben Miskell this week spoke at a virtual Sheffield City Council Scrutiny Committee meeting about the impact of attacks on buses in Arbourthorne and how the withdrawal of bus services as a result of this has been a huge inconvenience to residents.

Speaking at the meeting Councillor Ben Miskell said: “My ward Arbourthorne is one of those areas currently facing an increased number of attacks on buses and ongoing diversions due to this is causing quite considerable disruption to residents”

“From talking to fellow councillors in Rotherham I understand that similar attacks on buses and their drivers have recently taken place and the situation in that area seems to have significantly improved.”

“Covid really has highlighted the importance of our public transport network and we want to make sure that it continues to run regardless of where you live.”

Nigel Eggleton, Managing Director of First, said in his reply:

“We don’t really understand why there is a slightly greater level of vandalism onboard our vehicles, we suspect in some way it is Covid related although the psychology of that escapes me. It’s certainly greater this autumn than it was last autumn but South Yorkshire Police have been helpful.”

“The Rotherham experience was very similar to that in Firth Park a number of weeks ago. Essentially the success we had in both of those came from us running what we call the Trojan bus. We had police on board and on both occasions they caught a little blighters. It’s as simple as that.”

“We had one occasion where a police car that went in front of the bus was pelted with stones and we had one of our drivers shot at with an air gun pellet. It was quite a sight seeing three police officers go haring off into the night and come back with three arrests being made. That got rid of the problem, almost overnight.”

“Now we did the same on Arbourthorne last week and didn’t see a soul unfortunately and that was disappointing but we’ll keep going. We appreciate entirely how important services are to residents. We do not want our drivers and passengers under threat of what could be a severe injury if a brick goes through the window and hits them on the head, we don’t want to go there.”

“Police are doing their best with the resources available to them but we’re grateful for any pressure from councillors to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

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