Sheffield parking: Businesses in revolt and 3,000 sign petition against changes in trendy Kelham and Neepsend

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Bosses in a trendy Sheffield district fear the ‘potential terminal impact’ of new restrictions aimed at making it a nicer place to live.

They say clients, staff and suppliers will desert them after Neepsend and Kelham Island were blanketed with double yellow lines and three quarters of parking spaces were axed.

The authority says the measures will improve access and unloading for vehicles by removing parking on junctions. They will also improve ‘walking, cycling, wheeling and public transport facilities’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Parking fury in Neepsend, clockwise from top left: Luke Cottingham, Daisy and Charlotte White, Shaun Finney and Andrew SlaterParking fury in Neepsend, clockwise from top left: Luke Cottingham, Daisy and Charlotte White, Shaun Finney and Andrew Slater
Parking fury in Neepsend, clockwise from top left: Luke Cottingham, Daisy and Charlotte White, Shaun Finney and Andrew Slater | David Walsh,/Shaun Finney/@georgiahornphotography

More than 3,000 people have signed a petition against the scheme, launched by Daisy and Charlotte White, of SIS Beauty, who moved to a studio on Mowbray Street in November and now fear the restrictions will shut them down.

As well as new yellow lines, they say 300 parking spaces have been reduced to 45. Some 78 per cent of businesses objected to the council “but they did it anyway,” they say.

Charlotte said: “There will be customers who, if they can’t park, will leave us. It’s meant to be an up-and-coming area for small businesses but if people can’t come it will become a ghost town.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Why not introduce pay and display spaces with a four-hour maximum to stop office workers parking all day?”

The petition is about “keeping Neepsend and Kelham Island buzzing, for its businesses and its people.”

Shaun Finney, managing director of AMS Electrical, on Burton Road, Neepsend, said double yellows had appeared in front and behind the business.

He believed it was “obvious” the authority’s end game was to encourage residential developments at the expense of existing businesses. An £11m grant to turn the former Cannon Brewery on Neepsend Lane into flats was further proof of that, he added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Poster objecting to road alterations in NeepsendPoster objecting to road alterations in Neepsend
Poster objecting to road alterations in Neepsend | National World

He said: “There are a mass of business owners that are now suffering with their mental wellbeing as a direct result of the trading impact brought about by the madness playing out.

“Over 75 per cent of the available parking spaces have been removed this week in and around ours and our local business partners premises, I have contacted SCC and the SISK stakeholder no less than eight times with no response to any communication.”

Luke Cottingham, of jewellery business Cast, on Mowbray Street, said they were an “experiential” business which aimed to make visits to the studio enjoyable. But clients were now faced with the stress of finding somewhere to park and business was suffering.

New double yellows on Mowbray Street, Neepsend.New double yellows on Mowbray Street, Neepsend.
New double yellows on Mowbray Street, Neepsend. | National World

Andrew Slater at Reyt Good Illustration, in Kelham Arcade on Burton Road, is closing his shop claiming parking restrictions “killed footfall” and are “the final nail in the coffin.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “It’s made me so angry. The hard work that people have put into their businesses that have contributed to making Kelham Island and Neepsend the vibrant amazing places they are today, only for the council to come along and put all that at risk with seemingly zero consideration, is just unacceptable.”

Among the scores to have a commented on the petition, Denizen Productions wrote: “I'm one of many creative professionals (musician/producer) working for several years from a studio in Kelham who have had their livelihood suddenly thrown into crisis by these terribly thought out restrictions, imposed in the face of clear objections from the vast majority.”

New double yellow lines on Burton Road at the junction with Mowbray Street, Neepsend.New double yellow lines on Burton Road at the junction with Mowbray Street, Neepsend.
New double yellow lines on Burton Road at the junction with Mowbray Street, Neepsend. | National World

Business owners lined up to criticise the scheme.

Emily Brailsford wrote: “I am signing this petition because I also have a small business in the Kelham Island area and we already struggle with customers finding parking.”

Jennifer Beal said she may have to relocate: “I am a business owner in Neepsend and the new parking restrictions have made it almost impossible for my team to park anywhere close to the office - and our clients will no longer be able to visit our office for meetings.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ali Heath Cook added: “We have owed a small independent businesses in Neepsend for 27 years. We have seen this area grow from nothing into a beautiful area where old established industries, factories, new independent businesses and families can all work and live together in harmony. This new parking scheme will destroy everyone's hard work within moments!”

Mark Lewis said: “I also run a business on Kelham Island and now there is nowhere for our clients to park. I realise that parking was a problem in Neepsend, but a better solution might have been implemented like time restricted bays and permits for local businesses. The unnecessary amount of spaces that have been removed is ridiculous and will strangle local businesses, bars and cafes and make lots of people’s lives unnecessarily difficult.”

On Star reporter David Walsh’s Linkedin page, Stephen Thompson, of Moss Valley Fine Meats, said: “Deliveries are a nightmare to that area now.”

And Gavin Ellis, managing director at Eurosafe Solutions, commented: “It’s insane. More and more residential being built, less and less parking. I’m all for traffic reduction but there has to be a balance.”

Sheffield City Council has been contacted for comment.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In a document called Kelham Island and Neepsend Parking Scheme Next Steps, it explains the restrictions are to ‘help manage the flow of traffic and provide more kerb space for deliveries, support the Connecting Sheffield Neepsend– Kelham–City Centre cycling scheme and reduce the impact of current and future housing developments on parking in the area’.

It explains there is less parking under the new scheme because pavement parking is banned and bays on the carriageway must leave enough space for a large vehicle such as a fire engine or delivery lorry to pass.

Coun Ben Miskell said the parking changes in Neepsend were not designed to push businesses out of the area,Coun Ben Miskell said the parking changes in Neepsend were not designed to push businesses out of the area,
Coun Ben Miskell said the parking changes in Neepsend were not designed to push businesses out of the area, | Sheffield Council

Coun Ben Miskell, chair of the transport, regeneration and climate committee, said the area would continue to be a mix of residential developments and business and the new measures were not designed to push businesses out.

He added: “We have big ambitions for the Kelham and Neepsend areas of Sheffield with our local plan document setting out how the areas will continue to be a mix of residential developments alongside commercial opportunities. Part of that plan is to reduce the impact of traffic in the area by improving walking and cycling routes, and access by public transport, but we haven’t forgotten the need for vehicle access as well. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The installation of the new parking controls is not designed to push businesses out of the area, quite the contrary, business owners have been experiencing difficulties with loading and unloading – which the yellow lines will help with as you can load and unload on double yellow lines in Neepsend.

“A number of businesses and residents also told us that parking is difficult due to competition from commuters . Parking was also taking place close

 to junctions, reducing visibility and making it difficult for larger vehicles to access premises. We have brought in the new measures to stop this from happening and improve safety.

“I can understand the concern of some businesses in Kelham and Neepsend surrounding these changes, and we will carry out a review of them in twelve months' time. Our ambition is for both areas to be a thriving place to live, work and enjoy with the new parking measures helping us achieve that.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He also said speaking to businesses, the hours of operation have been changed in Neepsend to 9am to 3pm with the council agreeing to be more flexible in the number of permits available. And there would be a review of the project after 12 months.

Coun Miskell said there were many parts of the city, including Ecclesall Road corridor, Broomhill, Sharrow Vale and Hillsborough where parking controls are in place and these areas continued to thrive.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.