Police release statement on suspension of trams in Sheffield when Wednesday play Leeds
Police have backed the decision to suspend trams in Sheffield on safety grounds when Wednesday play Leeds on Saturday.
Stagecoach Supertram announced yesterday that trams to and from Sheffield city centre and Hillsborough are to be suspended when Wednesday play Leeds on Saturday, October 26 because of fears over a repeat of disorder which marred the last fixture.
The firm said that the last time Wednesday hosted Leeds at Hillsborough last season there were ‘serious incidents’ in which trams were vandalised and staff were intimidated and subjected to ‘physical and verbal assaults’.
It said bosses had met South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Wednesday to discuss ways of reducing similar incidents happening again but suggestions to limit the number of away tickets sold and ways of managing ‘the transport of away fans’ had not been ‘supported’ by Wednesday.
Sheffield Wednesday bosses have not yet responded, but South Yorkshire Police today said the force supported the suspension of tram services for a period before and after the game.
The force said: “South Yorkshire Police is aware of the decision taken by Supertram to suspend services ahead of and after the Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds fixture on Saturday, October 26.“SYP fully supports this decision due to level of safety concerns raised following last year's fixture, where incidents of damage to their trams and intimidation of their staff were reported.“Steps were taken following last year's fixture to address these issues, which culminated in a meeting between Supertram, the club and SYP, where assurances were made that each organisation would seek to improve safety and prevent disorder occurring again.
“South Yorkshire Police has worked tirelessly to try and find a solution, which would reduce risk to the tram service and is disappointed a satisfactory resolution could not be reached for this fixture.“The safety of all those attending the match, including spectators, SWFC staff and police officers, plus the local residents and members of the public who may be affected remains our utmost priority.
“We will continue to advise the Safety Advisory Group of our concerns surrounding this fixture until we can be reassured of the safety of all involved.”