Tensions rise over climate change protesters’ road block outside Sheffield railway station

A controversial protest over climate change which caused traffic chaos in Sheffield has sparked debate among Star readers.

By Lee Peace
Thursday, 21st March 2019, 6:51 am
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 6:53 am
The protest near the railway station. Picture: Niall Gandy
The protest near the railway station. Picture: Niall Gandy

Tensions rose between frustrated motorists and members of campaign group Extinction Rebellion after they blocked traffic on the crossing outside Sheffield railway station on Sheaf Street.

The group staged a series of protests –  each of around five minutes in duration –  between 8am and 9am on Tuesday as they called for more to be done to tackle climate change.

The protest near the railway station. Picture: Niall Gandy

Motorists were seen getting out of cars and shouting abuse at the campaigners, who attempted to explain the reason for the protest to drivers stuck in traffic.

Emotions ran equally high online.

Dozens of readers took to The Star's Facebook page to make their voices heard on the matter. 

Sam Flinders said: “It's a really important message but the wrong way to go about it.

“I heard a quote 'the protesters want people to use more public transport'.

“I only use public transport and was over an hour late for work.

“I saw an ambulance trying to get down the parkway and it was absolute chaos.

“Surely there is a better way to go about making this point?”

Gareth Johnstone added: “Congested roads with traffic backed up produces pollution and contributes to climate change.”

Linda Myers posted: “By making all traffic stop while they demonstrated they increased pollution with carbon monoxide from standing traffic.”

But David French spoke out in support of the protesters.

He said: “The disruption caused is nothing compared to the threat of the climate and ecological crisis.  

“We are all deeply worried and concerned for our children's futures, as well as the futures of those across the world.

“Unfortunately if you stand on the side of the road, you get ignored, stand in the middle and it raises awareness of the issues.”