Sheffield teenager struggling to visit disabled dad due to South Yorkshire bus cuts

A teenage carer from Sheffield is struggling to visit his disabled dad due to South Yorkshire bus cuts.

Thomas Atkins relies on the bus to visit his father, who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and is in a wheelchair, because he suffers with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and can't make the four mile journey otherwise.

He claims that the buses are often late or just don't turn up at all - with one journey to his dad's house taking 90 minutes instead of half an hour.

Thomas told ITV News: "Sometimes it gets to the point where I’ve been sat here for an hour and a half waiting, just hoping a bus will turn up because they don’t."

The South Yorkshire Mayor has asked for £40 million per year to keep services going, but some bus routes are expected to be cut in the coming months.

Cuts to routes were expected in October, but a government scheme originally intended to help bus companies through the pandemic has been extended to April.

However, some campaigners think that this is just delaying the inevitable.

Gareth Forest, of Better Buses for South Yorkshire, said: "What they’ve done by announcing the six month extension is simply extend the cliff edge that we were going to see for the total collapse of the bus network in October.

"We now have a six month extension to that but it doesn’t change the fundamental problems with the system.”

FirstBus says the low passenger numbers following the pandemic and rising costs means they have no choice but to cut services.

FirstBus told ITV it had "given South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority as much advanced notice as possible of any changes... to allow time to adjust and seek alternative arrangements."