Lack of parking affecting trade for businesses in Sheffield suburb

Chris Beech, of Beeches of Walkley. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.
Chris Beech, of Beeches of Walkley. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.
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Independent businesses in a Sheffield suburb have called for parking restrictions outside their shops to be relaxed in the hope of drumming up more trade.

Chris Beech, of Beeches of Walkley, said customers had told him a lack of available parking around his South Road store was preventing them from shopping at the butchers and grocery store.

South Road, heading into Walkley. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.

South Road, heading into Walkley. Picture: Sam Cooper/The Star.

His comments were echoed by Jason Jesson, of nearby Laundry Point, on Barber Road, who said the traders in the area were clubbing together to launch a campaign to encourage people to shop locally.

Mr Beech said: "I have always had the butchers and the shop side of things was originally three units and a Costcutter but it closed when Asda opened further up the road six years ago.

"It's a nice area around here and we are attracting some nice shops but since Brexit it has been hard and you have got Aldi and Lidl competing with the bigger supermarkets and that obviously affects us too.

"But the biggest issue around here is the parking. South Road is a clearway between 8am and 9.30am and 4.30pm and 6.30pm, which are busy times for us as people call in on their way to and from work."

Mr Beech called for the restrictions to be relaxed in an attempt to boost trade in Walkley and Crookesmoor area.

He added: "The council did try and get a couple of extra spaces in but the focus seems to be on the area around the Asda.

"In a morning I will get customers come in and as soon as they walk in the shop they see the parking wardens and run back out to their car and don't come back."

Mr Jesson, who has run Laundry Point for the eight years, said the area had attracted a number of independent traders over recent years.

He said: "The area is changing - it's not just students anymore. We have got a complete mix, there are long-term residential and short-term residential and people who have lived here for 50 years.

"But the one problem is still parking. It puts people off when they know they can't get parked."

Sheffield Council said it had to bear in mind that South Road was a 'very busy route' and vowed to work with the businesses.