Sheffield church’s frustration as temporary bus stop placement leaves nowhere for hearse TWO days before funeral

A Sheffield church has voiced its frustration at the council’s decision to place a temporary bus stop immediately outside its doors.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 12:00 pm

St Matthew’s Church, on Carver Street, has been battling with Sheffield Council for around eight weeks over the ‘ridiculous’ decision to place a temporary bus stop outside its doors in an effort to re-route buses from the busy Pinstone Street as part of its response to Covid-19.

The authority has sited three temporary stops down Carver Street as part of its plan to reopen the city centre and encourage social distancing – but, as one is immediately adjacent to St Matthew’s, it leaves nowhere for funeral or wedding cars to park.

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The temporary bus stop is still in place outside St Matthew's Church, on Carver Street, two days before a funeral is scheduled to take place

Despite numerous calls and emails to the authority detailing the situation, the church says the temporary stop is still in place just two days before a funeral is due to take place there.

Father Naylor, Parish Priest of St Matthews, said: “They did this without any consultation, we had no correspondence.

"The churchwardens, Don and John, wrote to them pretty early on just to say ‘I don't know if you're aware but this is where funeral hearses pull up’.

“It was in the midst of Covid-19 so all funerals were at the crematorium but now they are returning. Also with social distancing, there’s a lot of people leaving the church after mass and the bus stop adds to that.

"It’s essentially the most ridiculous place to put it.”

While in talks with the council, Father Naylor said the authority has tried to blame the South Yorkshire Transport Executive for the placement of the stop however they have denied this claim.

He added: "It’s an absolute slap in the face for the bereaved family and of the departed, to say that you’re going on your final journey and then you’re getting off at a bus stop it’s just awful and really undignified.”

Councillor Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport and sustainability at Sheffield Council, said although the “emergency measures to support social distancing and active travel” altered the landscape of some of our streets, they are “incredibly important in promoting the safety and well-being of our residents.”

He added: “The locations of temporary bus stops have been chosen to cause as little disruption and change to normal road layouts as possible, and the footpaths have been widened to accommodate social distancing. The area outside of St Matthew’s Church was chosen as the street was already marked with double yellow lines.

“I empathise with St Matthew’s church concern that services at their church and funeral processions in particular, can be carried out as smoothly as possible.

“We will therefore be amending a section of the temporary barriers to create space to allow this to happen safely and then consider the potential for a more permanent solution in consultation with St Matthew’s.”

The council said it is also planning to reinstate some pay and display parking bays along Carver Street in the next couple of weeks.

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