Crookes and Crosspool councillor Minesh Parekh has called for late-night bus services to get residents home safely.
Night clubs and bars in Sheffield can close as late as 4am, with workers often not leaving until the early hours of the morning. With public transport being totally suspended until 6am, workers are often left to walk home alone.
Labour councillor Minesh Parekh told Sheff Central: “As a former Sheffield student, I know a large number of people working at bars are young people. I’m very conscious of their safety.
“I cover Crookes, which is a student-heavy area. I support the demand for late-night bus services for the personal safety of the people in my ward.”
A survey conducted by Sheff Central revealed that 84% of respondents in Sheffield have felt ‘worried or unsafe’ when walking home alone late at night.
Additionally, 91.8% of respondents believe that bus services should run beyond 11:30pm, showing both the demand and necessity for late-night services.
Public transport services across Sheffield were once considered one of the best in UK, with tram journeys being subsidised to just 1p per customer in the 20th century. Following recent government cuts however, Sheffield has lost significant public transport funding.
New figures show the number of bus cancellations across South Yorkshire have nearly tripled between 2021 and 2022, rising from 8,304 to 23,986.
Coun Parekh added: “The issue is definitely funding. Even though it would be costing money to run late services, it is going to save residents money in the long run and therefore boost the local economy.
“Where there are Council powers, we can employ to help workers get home safely at night, then we should do our absolute most to implement them. We can’t put a price on the safety of our residents and workers.”
Councillor Jayne Dunn is ‘fully supporting’ Sheff Central‘s mission. She said the introduction of late-night transport is important for “equality fairness, safety, tackling the cost of living crisis, and also by being the best way to tackle climate change”.
Dr Rizwana Lala, Sheffield Central MP candidate, also backs the demand. She said she “supports the expansion and availability of affordable public transport” and has “committed to this” in her manifesto.
Coun Parekh is working with Unite the Union on their ‘Get ME Home Safely’ campaign, to make travel to and from work safer for women across the UK.
Sheffield City Council is due to introduce a ‘Get ME Home Safely’ Premises charter within three months to combat this issue.
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