Don’t let East Midlands Trains get away with highway robbery. You, the people of Sheffield, have contributed £7 million towards the creation of this safe, clean and much valued pathway to the city centre. Are you prepared to let East Midlands Trains take it from you? Twice, in the week of 11th May, as part of a ticket checking exercise, East Midlands Trains stopped people using the bridge, including children and people with buggies, forcing them to use the unsafe alternative, known as “Mugger’s Alley”.
A FURTHER protest took place 20 may 09 against East Midlands Trains’ decision to close Sheffield Station footbridge to non-passengers. The protest has been organised by campaign group Residents Against Station Closure, who live in the Norfolk Park and Park Hill areas and used to walk into town over the bridge, which is disabled-friendly and monitored by CCTV.
They now have to take a long detour or use an unwelcoming, heavily-vandalised bridge south of the station. East Midlands Trains has come up with the idea to give bridge users a free pass which would open the electronic ticket gates – but MPs and councillors are still pressing for the company to abandon its plans and reopen the bridge. The demonstration took place at 5pm and protesters was joined by senior Sheffield People:
Why do we oppose it?
Sheffield is proud of the station and the region has spent £50 million on the award-winning refurbishment of the station and the immediate vicinity. The resulting refurbishment is described as a world class gateway to the city (In this SYPTE article.)
The footbridge links communities and organisations on both sides of the station. It is one of the few truly integrated transport networks in the area uniting as is does, the tram stop, the station and the Sheffield Interchange. The bridge is particularly important for wheel chair and push chair users as the only alternative bridge is completely inaccessible, so a very large diversion would be required. Go here to see a Sheffield Council photo presentation on the area, including the alternative bridge (pdf document).
The link through the station is also central to the City regeneration strategy as it provides a direct route for future occupants of the massive Park Hill scheme to access the Golden Route into the city centre.
On 3rd September Sheffield City Council voted unanimously on two motions opposing the “gating” scheme.
A wide variety of people use the footbridge everyday including
Staff and Students at Castle centre of the Sheffield College
Staff and Students at Sheffield Hallam University
Sheffield Wild Life Trust
Staff working on the Park Hill development
Staff and pupils at All Saints school and a number of other primary schools in the immediate vicinity
- The thousands of people who live in the communities “behind” the station.
All these groups would be prevented from using the award-winning listed building, which the city has spent millions of pounds to refurbish. The bridge is particularly important for wheelchair and pushchair users, as the only alternative bridge is completely inaccessible, so a very large diversion would be required.
East Midlands Trains argue there are no alternatives to installing ticket barriers. For a detailed discussion of the issues see this report
This site helps you if you feel that the station should remain as it is. Go to the what to do page for immediate action. You might also want to look at some articles and reports which support and publicise our case.
WHAT TO DO:
Sign the online petition, at http://www.petitiononline.com/rasc/petition.html (New Jan 09).
Express your opinion via Sheffield Council’s on-line form
Join our mailing list and organisation.
Write to press: the following have been interested in the past:
- David Walsh at the Sheffield Star EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sim Harris – Editor of Rail Management EMail: email@example.com
- Katie Sylvester – Editor of Rail Professional EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.railpro.co.uk
- Radio Sheffield 2675440 News Desk , Wendy Middleton and Jill Orwin have both been following this issue.
Complain directly to the Managing Director of East Midlands Trains – EMail: email@example.com
All of the Sheffield MPs are united in opposition to the proposal;
- Richard Caborn EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meg Munn EMail: email@example.com
- Angela Smith EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- David Blunkett: 4th floor, Palatine Chambers, Pinstone Street, S1 2HN
- Nick Clegg EMail: email@example.com