Councillors today welcomed a decision by First South Yorkshire to reintroduce suspended evening and weekend services in Arbourthorne, after a night of decoy bus operations to catch those throwing objects at buses.
Bus routes 41 and 51 had been diverted away from parts of the estate due to reports of objects being thrown at buses and concerns around safety, with residents voicing frustration at the impact that the diversions were having in the busy run up to Christmas.
Councillors Ben Miskell and Sophie Wilson joined First staff and South Yorkshire Police onboard the decoy bus, as it did circuits of Arbourthorne. The bus was followed by a team of police officers in unmarked police cars, ready to take action, had the bus come under attack.
Commenting on the return of buses in Arbourthorne, Councillor Ben Miskell said:
‘After weeks of disruption, residents are delighted that bus services will return in Arbourthorne. We’ve worked with a local building site to make it more difficult to find objects to throw at buses and have requested an enhanced police presence on the bus route, now that services are re-starting’.
Talking about her experience during the disruption to bus services, Arbourthorne resident and retail worker Jane Hallam said:
‘Many people like myself are working hard every day and some of us have worked right through this Covid pandemic. I work for a large supermarket chain and some days I don’t finish till 8.30pm. The disruption has meant getting off the bus and having to walk up the rest of a steep hill, after a long shift. It hasn’t been fair on all the people who live on the Arbourthorne Estate, just because of a few stupid kids, who ought to be ashamed of themselves. Their parents ought to be ashamed as well’.