Junkies and vice girls plague city underpass

Closed pedestrian walkway off Arundel Gate
Closed pedestrian walkway off Arundel Gate
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AN UNDERGROUND walkway in Sheffield city centre frequented by prostitutes and drug addicts is set to be closed by council bosses.

The public footpath connecting Arundel Gate to Pond Street is littered with discarded needles, is often used as a public lavatory and has been the site of a wide range of anti-social behaviour, according to a report to be discussed by councillors on Monday.

The route, which starts at the side of the Odeon and emerges in the multi-storey NCP, is the western-most of three footpaths between Arundel Gate and Pond Street.

The entrance steps have been boarded up and the underpass gates locked since October for maintenance but highways officers want to permanently block off the route.

They say the path is not well-used, with pedestrians preferring the better-lit alternatives further up the street.

In a report to be considered by Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning committee on Monday, highways chief John Bann said: “This area is not favoured by members of the public, who prefer to use the commodious and well-lit unadopted public right of way.

“The covered walkway, in particular, has attracted a wide range of anti-social behaviour incidents, including drinking, prostitution and the use of intravenous drugs.

“Discarded needles litter the route.

“The fire doors at the Odeon cinema, off this footpath, are often used as a urinal.”

If councillors approve the proposals, the underpass will no longer be an official right of way.