EXCLUSIVE: Parking banned on three streets near Sheffield city centre

Cars parked on Blast Lane in Sheffield where the City Council proposes to start charging motorists to park
Cars parked on Blast Lane in Sheffield where the City Council proposes to start charging motorists to park
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Double-parked, blocking other cars in and crammed into the tightest of parking spaces.

This is the scene every work day on three streets near Sheffield city centre.

But it is about to end – Sheffield Council is axing some of the last free parking spaces near the city centre, despite more than 200 objections from businesses and employees.

Council bosses have passed a motion to introduce double yellow lines and time-limited single yellow line waiting restrictions on Cadman Street, Blast Lane and Sussex Street near the Wicker.

The proposals received three objection letters from nearby businesses, 10 from Capita employees and a petition with 204 signatures signed by the firm’s workers. No expressions of support were received.

The council say the new restrictions will improve safety and improve access for the Emmaus shop which helps homeless people in Sheffield.

Network Rail called for double yellow lines on Blast Lane, Cadman Street and Sussex Street to prevent parking that blocks sight lines at junctions and obstructs the traffic flow.

It said if an incident occurred on the railway, staff might be unable to get there from its Blast Lane depot.

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield has also requested parking provision for the Emmaus shop on Blast Lane.

Sheffield Council senior transport planner John Priestly said in his report: “It is acknowledged that Capita employees and other commuters who park in this area will be inconvenienced.

“However, by removing unsafe, illegal and obstructive parking and providing parking for a charity facility that assists homeless persons the proposed measures are considered to have a positive impact overall.”

But the plans have caused anger among commuters and business owners.

One Capita employee said: “This is a valuable parking place for Capita employees. Our building doesn’t have capacity for us all to park in our staff car park.

“Enforcing this order would not be fair to people that park their car there every day which doesn’t cause any obstruction. I feel that with enforcing this order people will have to pay to use a public car park at a fee which some of us simply cannot afford.”

Another said: “We all have to make a living as well as the companies around Blast Lane and some people are on low income and the parking charges in car parks can take a big chunk out of people’s wages. We are not all on mega bucks and some live out of the area and public transport is not an option.”

Another objector said: “I do not feel that there has been an assessment of alternatives for people who currently park in this area to provide a suitable alternative for them to travel to work.”

One objector wrote to the council saying: “The public transport options to this area are almost non-existent. The nearest tram stop is at least a 15-minute walk and the nearest bus stop is around a 10-minute walk. To access the closest bus stop you have to walk through the Wicker which has seen three serious assaults and one fatal assault in the past six months.

“This, along with previous reports of violence, has resulted in people using their cars to travel to and from work for safety reasons.

The public car parks are usually at capacity by 9am which has also forced people to find alternative parking options.”

The owner of Vulcan Studios on Sussex Street said: “The proposal makes no provision for parking spaces for local businesses.

“Each morning there is competition for the parking spaces, most used by people walking into the city centre for work.

“The businesses on these roads suffer lack of parking as it is. There are no spaces reserved for the workers at local business and we struggle to load/unload in the hours we need this facility.”

Sarah Marsh said: “Not all people are parking in an obstructive manner, maybe the people that are should have tickets rather than punish everyone.

“It’s all about money, forcing people to pay astronomical council parking fees instead.”

But Rachel Sharp said: “Commuters need to realise that throwing their car wherever they like is not on. I pay for parking when I go to work.”