A ROW over access to Sheffield railway station footbridge was reignited this week when East Midlands Trains held a manual ticket check in the morning rush hour.
The firm, owned by Stagecoach, put staff at each end of the bridge, supported by police, who turned away people including tram passengers and those wanting to cross to the station ticket office.
Nearby residents said they were also inconvenienced.Toby Hyan, who lives on Shrewsbury Road and crosses the bridge to work at the Digital Campus, Sheaf Street, said: “If permanent ticket barriers were put in, people living nearby were to be given passes to get through. This kind of inspection happens regularly, so why don’t they issue us with a pass now?”
Blodwen Grayhurst, who commutes to Hallam University from Middlewood by tram and holds a weekly pass, said: “I can appreciate they want to crack down on fare dodgers but the tram stop says Sheffield Station, Hallam University.
“I had to get a tram back into town and walk, making me late. A lot of people wanting to catch trains arrive by tram – but they could only buy tickets for use on the day from people on the barrier.”
Sheffield Council leader Paul Scriven said: “I’m unhappy that once again EMT is blocking off access at the station and causing unnecessary inconvenience. If EMT is concerned about fare dodging then it should use their members of staff as extra conductors rather than as ‘bouncers’.”
An East Midlands Trains spokeswoman said: “We will not be providing residents with passes. We do not believe this is necessary as the ticket checks will only be carried out on an ad-hoc basis and whilst the ticket checks are being carried out, non-rail users can easily use one of the alternative bridges.
“Any passengers using the tram to travel to Sheffield station to connect with an onward train service can either buy a rail ticket in advance or can buy a rail ticket from the ticket vending machine next to the tram stop.
“Passengers with pre-booked rail tickets can also collect their ticket from this machine. Tram passengers who are not using the train for onward travel can use one of the two alternative bridges to cross from the tram stop through to the other side of the station.”