Petition against parking ban on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield goes viral
More than 900 people have signed a petition opposing a parking ban on Ecclesall Road amid fears it will cost jobs, close businesses and harm one of Sheffield’s best streets.
Melissa Wilde, manager at The Hairband at number 625, has seen the petition go viral since launching it on Thursday - and says the response proves the plans should be scrapped.
WHAT IS IN THE PROPOSALS?
Sheffield City Council is proposing 12 hour bus lanes, from 7am—7pm weekdays, on Ecclesall Road and Abbeydale Road, enforced by strict London-style ‘Red Routes’ which ban vehicles from stopping, waiting or loading, to combat climate change and boost active travel.
But Melissa believes the impact of the scheme far outweighs any environmental or health benefits - and could result in job cuts at the company.
At least 80 per cent of clients arrive by car and she fears if they can’t park nearby they will go elsewhere.
She said: “I think it’s a knee jerk reaction about climate change and the economic impact on the area has not be properly assessed.
“The bus lane works really well during rush hour and when cars can park they aren’t causing a problem. I don’t see why it’s needed during the day. And if there’s no loading how are we going to get deliveries?
“Take away the clients and there’s no business.”
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The 40-year-old firm employs 22 and is owned by Jackie Grainger and Jill Cade.
Jackie said they supported plans to re-program traffic lights to turn green when a bus approaches at every junction for up to five miles from the city centre to the suburbs.
And she wanted to see investment in services, but she opposed the proposed bus lane measures.
She said: “During the day parked cars are not causing a problem. But the bus shelters are a joke and drivers are striking half the time.
“If I was a client and my journey was made harder I wouldn’t go. We don’t know how many we’d lose and that’s the scary thing.”
WHAT DOES THE PETITION SAY?
The petition states: “After facing an extremely difficult two years due to the Covid pandemic these plans will be detrimental to the livelihoods of many shops, salons and cafes on Eccelsall Road and surrounding areas. The lack of footfall will inevitably force job losses and business closures.”
The proposals are part of the £55m Connecting Sheffield scheme which aims to help people switch to walking, cycling or using public transport, ‘particularly when commuting to work’ to combat climate change and improve health.
WHAT DOES THE COUNCIL SAY?
Coun Douglas Johnson, executive member for climate change, environment and transport, said faster, more reliable buses would encourage commuters to leave cars at home.
He added: “We know it is difficult for people to use public transport because buses don’t get priority - they need faster routes to make sure they are consistently reliable.
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“Public transport is a critical part of our future; we will need people to catch the bus to take cars off the road. I know it’s been said, but it’s so important I will say it again; we need to make it easier to travel by public transport so people can choose to leave the car at home. This will help reduce traffic congestion, improve the air we breathe, and make us a healthier city.”