Businesses are at risk of closing due to the council’s plans to shut down several roads around Hillsborough on match days.
The proposed regulations would close Vere Road, Penistone Road North, Catch Bar Lane, Farndale Road, Bickerton Road, Leake Road and Fielding Road on match days. This adds to the match day road closure of Leppings Lane which is already in effect.
“When they played Leeds I had to close early because the kick off was half past 12, so if that was implemented every Saturday then my trade is completely cancelled out,” said Emma Lee, owner of Emm’s Barbers on Lepping Lane.
“If they have a Tuesday match and close the roads at lunchtime or 10 o’clock in the morning, it leaves me with another day where I could take no money at all which would be a big impact on business.”
Emma continued: “I have 3 members of staff on Saturday and I actually sent 2 of the staff home at 10 o’clock because there was nothing for us to do. I would no longer need them on a Saturday so they would lose a days work.”
Councillor Robert Johnson, Cabinet Member for Transport and Development, is responsible for signing off on the order.
“I have been working with the club police and Safety Advisory Group to find a common sense solution to the issues around match day parking and road closures,” said Councillor Johnson.
This has come as no comfort for residents and workers in the area.
One such resident, Jane Dickenstan, said: “My partner is a self employed heating engineer on call with set times of arrival. He has to have easy access on match days to get to and from jobs. This is so disruptive, as if the people parking everywhere doesn’t add to things.”
It is not just affecting businesses in the area but also day to day life.
Emma Lee said: “We’ve had disabled residents being refused access, a gentleman going on nights who wasn’t allowed to leave the street so he couldn’t turn up for work, a gentleman who’s disabled father lives on Esdale road and wasn’t allowed to deliver his shopping.
“I sent a petition to the council with at least 500 signatures on the petition. They’re going to have no choice but to listen to us because the sheer number of people who have signed the petition and also the businesses that are against it.
“The stewards seem to have no common sense because they kept a disabled lady in her car for 1 hour 40 minutes because she couldn’t walk home. I don’t see why that is necessary, why are they closing it to people like that?”
The feeling of the people in the streets, according to Emma, is that the only thing not affected by the closures is the club.
In order to make these plans permanent the council must first advertise a Traffic Regulation Order. This gave residents until the 7th November to give their feedback on the proposals, many of which have been negative.