Fans speak out over tram suspension for Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United game

News that there will be no trams between the city centre and Hillsborough when Sheffield Wednesday play Leeds next week has been met with a mixed response from fans.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 9:06 am
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 9:10 am

Stagecoach Supertram announced the suspension to warn passengers there will be no trams between Sheffield city centre and Hillsborough on Saturday, October 26, for a period before and after the game.

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The firm said when Leeds played at Hillsborough last season trams were vandalised, staff intimidated and subjected to ‘physical and verbal assaults’ and services had to be suspended.

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One man was arrested for assaulting a police constable, another for breach of the peace and the third for being drunk and disorderly.

A Supertram spokesperson said at the time: "Both yellow and blue route suspended from Cathedral - Middlewood/ Malin Bridge until further notice due to staff safety concerns and vandalism to several trams. Sorry for any inconvenience to our customers. Stagecoach Bus accepting tickets in the area affected."

The move to pre-empt any potential trouble by suspending services has been met with a mixed response from football fans, many of which took to Facebook to make their feelings known.

Dean Jarvis said: “How about policing the trams?

“I have seen first hand football violence.

“Once again a few people rule the rest, how about not penalising the majority and just not let the idiots on the tram.

“As for Sheffield Wednesday and any club outside of the Premier League they cannot afford not to have away fans, it keeps the clubs afloat.”

Mel Machin spoke about fans “attacking trams with various weapons” and “consequently we all have to suffer because of their actions.”

Mark Maloney said: “So? Plenty of buses go to Hillsborough.”

Mark Harper was of the opinion that the “safety of staff and passengers comes first.”

Michael Williams posted: “It’s not down to Sheffield Wednesday to manage what happens on the streets. It’s down to the police and how they handle it.”

Davey Cammack said the move will cause the people of Sheffield to be “disrupted.”

Richard Weaver is concerned that taxi fare prices will “double or treble” as a result of the move.

Stagecoach Supertram bosses met police chiefs and Wednesday representatives to discuss ways to avoid violent incidents.

But the transport operator said suggestions to reduce away tickets and ways of managing ‘transport of away fans’ had not been ‘supported’ by the Owls.

A Stagecoach spokesman said: “Supertram has regretfully had to take the difficult decision to suspend tram services between the city centre and Hillsborough for a period of time prior to the game and after the game.

“We appreciate the inconvenience this may cause to both tram users unconnected to football and fans who travel with consideration for others, but this decision is taken in the best interests of safety for all.”