I sent this to the press today.
Campaign Group Residents against Station Closure today reported a massive response to their appeal for people to object to East Midlands Trains proposal to install barriers at the station, thus cutting the city in half. All 6 of the cities MP’s have objected and important organisations including South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind, Central Community Assembly, and Huddersfield, Penistone and Sheffield Rail Users Association have all objected. More than 500 members of the public have taken the time to write to object to the proposals, along with many Councillors including the leaders of all 3 political parties on the Council.
The objection from SYPTE states “Our concerns relate to the risk of pedestrian congestion, particularly at peak hours, and the difficulties of having to accommodate potential passengers and those seeking information in a smaller remaining concourse space. Those with mobility, sight or other difficulties would be placed at particular disadvantage. “
Nick Clegg, Hallam MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats is concerned about the safety aspects of the proposal. “At present there is a quick and safe passage through the different zones of the building for its many users. The proposed ticket and side barriers would would significantly impede movement and cause crowding…I worry that the contraction of this space is potentially hazardous.”
Councillor Jan Wilson, Leader of the Labour Party on the Council, comments about the adverse visual impact on an attracted listed building and states that the barriers are unnecssary- she says there are other options for revenue protection.
Council Leader Paul Scriven states that the barriers will damage Sheffield City Councils ambition for an integrated local transport network.
Leader of the Greens, Jillian Creasy, writes about the connectivity problems. “The whole of the public realm works leading down from Millenium Square, through Howard Street, to the station and the proposed development of Park Hill flats and the associated new park has been about making connections across the Sheaf Valley. This works at a visual and practical level. People can enjoy the views across the station in either direction and they can easily get from one side to the other…the gates will be an ugly addition to the restored station forecourt, but they also damage the concept of a station which connects two vibrant areas of the city”.
RASC chairperson Keith Hayman commented, “We are delighted that the people of Sheffield are taking the opportunity to tell East Midlands Trains exactly what the they feel about these destructive proposals. We would like to remind everybody that they have until Monday October 19th to make their voices heard. Write to Sheffield City Council, Howard Baxter quoting reference 09/02887/LBC or alternatively check details of how to do this at http://rasc- sheffield. com/ .”