Furious business owners slam council “idiots” over Ecclesall & Abbeydale Road red route plans

Business owners have slammed Sheffield City Council’s plans to ‘push ahead’ with camera-operated ‘red routes’ on Ecclesall and Abbeydale Road.

The council has plans to use red lines which would amount to a ban on parking, stopping and loading on the major city roads.

Along with a 12-hour bus route it is part of the ‘Connecting Sheffield’ initiative – a £55m plan to encourage people to walk, cycle or use public transport instead of cars and lower pollution.

However, those on the road argue the red lines and the 7am-7pm bus lane would drive away customers and force them to close.

Nasar Raoof, the postmaster of Banner Cross Post Office on Ecclesall Road said: “In a polite way, they’re just a bunch of idiots. They’ve got no idea how businesses work.

“They’re just wanting to push ahead with it, knowing damn well it would kill all the local businesses. It just shows that the people’s politicians aren’t listening to the people.”

An online petition started by the Facebook group ‘Say No to Red Lines’ has reached almost ten thousand signatures to stop the scheme, but Mr Raoof said the council’s most recent report failed to mention it.

Pat O’Brien, from Pat O’Brien’s Butchers on Ecclesall Road said: “My thoughts? We’re all out of work. I mean, have you ever heard of anything so stupid?”

At a meeting between council representatives and business owners in Marmaduke’s Cafe on 31 January , Mr O’Brien said he’d told Councillor Mazher Iqbal: “You’ve ruined Sheffield City Centre. Now, you’re trying to do the same to the suburbs.”

Keeley from Harper’s Fashions said: “They won’t listen, but it’s just commercial genocide, basically. They must be getting some money from somewhere, but the amount of money they’ll lose in business rates is ridiculous.

“Ninety-nine per cent of our customers park outside and come in, so it’ll just finish the business.”

In a consultation document the council assured those concerned that their aims are to improve bus services, ease congestion, and any decisions aren’t final.

It also said in its ‘Connecting Sheffield: Abbeydale Road and Ecclesall Road Consultation Report,’ an online meeting was held for businesses, but only one attended, and it was generally felt that there would be no negative effects on parking.

Sheffield City Council was contacted but has yet to respond.

Written by Ruth George

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