Today’s Star columnist: Jason Burke

Jason Burke'Jason Burke is a 46-year-old Technical Support Officer, lifelong Sheffielder, husband and father of two.
Jason Burke'Jason Burke is a 46-year-old Technical Support Officer, lifelong Sheffielder, husband and father of two.
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I’m the sort of bloke who knows exactly what I want to buy before I leave the house, go to Meadowhall, straight to the shop, make the purchase, and hot foot it out of there as quickly as possible!

To me Meadowhall is at the root of everything that’s wrong with our city centre. It was another seemingly great idea borne out of the late 80s regeneration of the East End of Sheffield. At the time Meadowhall was the place to shop in the UK. Today the place is stuffy, overcrowded and clearly not fit for purpose. Car parking is a real ordeal after midday. I feel sorry for the workers there, especially with Christmas coming up fast – job in Argos anyone? No thanks, I’d sooner sweep the streets!

I have recently returned from two cities, one in Poland (Bydgosczcz), and Liverpool. In those places I actually enjoyed retail “therapy”! There was space, fresh air, and excellent places to visit. Sheffield is years behind – mainly because of Meadowhall.

Bydgosczcz amazed me, a wonderful city steeped in history – but they mix the old very tastefully with the new. Remember the Sheffield Hole In The Road with the subway shops? Well Bydgosczcz has this all beneath their tramway. Now why did we fill in our Hole In The Road again?

Liverpool is stunning, the “Liverpool One” area is a pleasure to frequent, any brand you desire, the place is full of locals and tourists all using their own transport with plentiful cheap parking. The Albert Dock area houses shops, museums, bars, café’s, hotels – Canal Basin anyone? No thanks, too far away and you take your life into your own hands to get there!

Our city centre is a wasteland with dozens and dozens of empty shop premises. The Moor, Arundel Gate, and Pinstone Street are simply embarrassing with virtually zero presence of any of the large high street chains.

Until something is done to downsize Meadowhall our City Centre will deteriorate further. The Moor Market was a great idea – but it has been let down by the ridiculous rent prices.

Go in there today and you will find it barely half-full of traders. Where is our inner ring road access?

Where is our plentiful and cheap parking?