Will car parking at these Sheffield shops close for good?
Parking restrictions implemented as a temporary measure at a Sheffield shopping district during the pandemic could become permanent following a public consultation.
Parking spaces on Fulwood Road, Broomhill, were blocked off last summer by Sheffield Council in a move to make the footpath outside the shops wider to allow more space for social distancing.
These changes may now be made permanent, following a consultation held to gauge public opinion on the issue.
If parking is permanently removed then four disabled parking spaces (two located outside the row of shops, one on Spooner Road and one on Taptonville Road), will be retained.
But business owners fear the change will have an impact on their livelihoods.
Martin Greaves, owner of Williamson Hardware on Fulwood Road, said: “I don’t want the restrictions, it causes chaos. People still park there even though they’re not allowed so they park on the kerb.
"I see people get tickets every week just for parking on the front.
“At commuting time we are missing all that passing trade. I want it back to how it was.”
A change to street use was made in the city centre in June 2020 when Pinstone Street was closed to traffic and buses to allow for more social distancing. That move has proved to be controversial and a final decision on whether to reopen it has not been made.
The Broomhill parking consultation overview stated: “The area has made space between people and the traffic along a busy road, allowed for cycle parking and a created safer space.”
Liberal Democrat councillor for Crookes and Crosspool, Tim Huggan opposed the decision to limit parking at Broomhill when it was introduced in August 2020 and still believes it is a mistake.
He said: “As it stands I am opposed to it. They have managed to remove car parking without making it any better for walkers or cyclists.
"It potentially could have been done properly - rather than them having that runway that still attracts people to go and park there it could have been an area for things like street stalls that would have benefitted the whole community.
“It is the wrong scheme, it should have been given more thought. My opinion has not changed since last August.”
But Green Party Broomhill and Sharrow Vale councillor Angela Argenzio said: “The vast amount of comments I have had have been extremely positive. A lot of people by and large support any scheme that reduces car engines idling.
"What the scheme has done is take the excess traffic off the road. It has made more space. Some shopkeepers may feel hard done to by this but a lot of research says people that drive to shops don’t actually spend much in that area - they may just go to one shop and then leave. “People who walk will stop and browse the shops.
"We really need to look at the future - we need to think about our children and grandchildren. As a green councillor I want to promote as much as possible a space for people. However, we will have to listen to what people say in the consultation.”
Sheffield Council was approached for comment. The public consultation has now closed.