Wicker bus gate review ordered

Start of Wicker bus gate at Park Square Roundabout
Start of Wicker bus gate at Park Square Roundabout
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LONG-suffering Wicker traders have persuaded councillors to undertake a review of the controversial bus gate.

Takeaway bosses attended a meeting of Sheffield Council’s cabinet highways committee - where they told councillors how trade has suffered since the restrictions were brought in during 2007.

They want the restrictions cut so the road is open to general traffic in the evenings and overnight.

Members of the council board have decided to visit businesses on the street and see the problems traders say they are suffering.

Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for transport and environment, who chairs the committee, said: “We need to have clarity about the issues facing businesses and it would be beneficial to go on site.”

Council leader Coun Julie Dore and her deputy Bryan Lodge, fellow board members, agreed and said the review should be completed ‘as soon as possible’.

Waheed Nazir, owner of Kebabbish takeaway and one of the businessmen who addressed the council, said after the meeting: “It’s what we wanted, so we are pleased.

“We understand the bus gate is needed during the day but we want it relaxed in the evening and overnight, when there are fewer buses and our customers come by car.”

The bus gate bans all traffic except buses, taxis and cycles from travelling on The Wicker across the inner ring road.

Mr Nazir said his trade is down 30 per cent and claims that 300 people’s jobs depend on businesses on the street, which are at risk.

He added: “We really need help. What’s the council waiting for - businesses to close?”

Highways officers said they are unhappy about the potential for Wicker drivers to turn left across a pedestrian crossing when it is on the green man, into the path of people on foot.