Star Opinion: Plans to boost evening trade

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It’s an age old question that has baffled businesses and councillors for years.

How do you make Sheffield city centre thrive after working hours?

CITY CENTRE PLANS: Read about the plans - CLICK HERE.

TRADERS ‘DYING’ DUE TO PARKING CHARGES: Read what they have to say - CLICK HERE.

Various schemes – some more successful than others – have been tried to encourage people to remain in the centre in the early evening.

At the heart of it is the chicken and egg quandary of businesses not wanting to stay open because everyone is heading off home and people jumping on the bus or tram because everywhere is shut.

But now hundreds of businesses are uniting to raise more than £800,000 to spend on improvement projects. The plan is recommended to be given the go-ahead when Sheffield Council’s cabinet meets next week.

Let’s hope it succeeds.

Related to this news are complaints from traders that parking charges are crippling businesses in the evenings and Sundays.

It seems counter-productive to, on the one hand, have plans to encourage more people into the city centre but on the other have barriers in place that put them off.

The council argue that Sheffield’s parking fees are on par with other towns and cities. We are not ‘other’ cities, though. Maybe it is time we did things differently.