Councillors join protest over bridge ticket barrier

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Fresh plans for controversial ticket barriers to be installed at Sheffield Station footbridge are to face further opposition from councillors.

Members of Sheffield Council are set to pass a motion at tomorrow’s full council meeting stressing their opposition to the idea, which would stop non-rail passengers including residents and tram passengers crossing the bridge to the city centre.

The proposal was abandoned by the previous Labour Government but has been revived by coalition Transport Secretary Philip Hammond as ministers tackle fare dodging on trains - estimated to lose £2 million a year in Sheffield.

Labour are following in the footsteps of the Lib Dems by looking into making the footbridge a public right of way.

Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg, who also opposes installation of the barriers, has pledged to lobby Mr Hammond.

And members of protest group Residents Against Station Closure have marched through the station bearing banners and placards.

Labour cabinet member for environment and transport Coun Leigh Bramall said: “The news that barriers are back on the table is very concerning and I felt that it was important to make it absolutely clear that the council will continue to oppose plans to impose them.”

“The council has been looking into the possibility of installing a public right of way across the bridge. I have asked the officers to speed up their attempts to do this.

“I would like to thank Residents Against Station Closure for all their efforts, and all the different organisations across the city who have been campaigning to protect access to the station bridge.”

His motion is expected to be passed with cross-party support as Green Party and Liberal Democrat councillors support the campaign for unrestricted access.