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The great Sheffield train station barrier debate
The contested pedestrian route through the station
The contested pedestrian route through the station

Sheffield City Council is thinking of declaring Sheffield Station footbridge a public right of way.

This is the latest in the series of measures to stop East Midlands Trains from conducting ticket checks to prevent people from using the bridge as a cut-through.

During a trip to Sheffield in April 2010, Labour's Transport Secretary Lord Adonis announced that East Midlands Trains would not be able to install ticket barriers at Sheffield station until a new footbridge has been built.

Read more about Lord Adonis' announcement.

The row broke out in early 2009 between East Midlands Trains (who operate Sheffield station) versus Sheffield City Council and campaigners who believe that the station provides essential access to this area of the city.

Labour Transport Secretary Lord Adonis
Lord Adonis said he had been in talks with East Midlands Trains

The dispute centres on Sheffield station's central footbridge which not only takes rail passengers to their platforms, but also provides a pedestrian link between the city centre and Park Hill/Norfolk Park, which are otherwise cut off from the city centre by the railway lines.

The background

Sheffield City Council had opposed EMT's plans to introduce physical ticket barriers at the station. In a council meeting in November 2009 plans for ticket barriers at Sheffield railway station were refused on the grounds that they would affect the character of the listed building. Councillors agreed with a report which said the barriers would be detrimental to the station's Victorian facade. The report also said the barriers did "not provide sufficient width to cater for disabled access" and would "adversely affect the open character of the stone faced arches."

However, the argument was not completely over. East Midlands Trains said hey would continue with manual ticket checks which had been in operation at the station since May 2009. The train company decided to consider their position and options.

Council leader Paul Scriven said: "People are justifiably outraged at the idea that our footbridge, paid for with £15 million of taxpayers' money, could be shut off by a private company for the purposes of profit."

Read more about the decision Sheffield Council made in November 2009: BBC News: Rail ticket barrier plan rejected

Read about both sides of the argument below, and have your say on the debate.

Safe and well lit

Campaigners say that the station's footbridge is a safe, well-lit route for pedestrians. The shortest alternate route is via another unlit footbridge several minutes walk away. On the day the BBC photographed this route, we saw evidence that it is used by intravenous drug users.

On foot, the shortest pedestrian route avoiding all footbridges would add around half a mile (10-15 minutes) to the walk from Park Hill to the city centre.

Park Hill is currently undergoing a £150 million facelift which aims to transform the icon of brutalist architecture into a desirable place to live again.

Gateway to the city

Sheffield Station itself has recently been at the centre of a £50 million redevelopment of the station and Sheaf Square - a 'gateway to the city'.

Council Leader Paul Scriven accused EMT of cutting the city in half. EMT says that it needs to protect its revenue in the economic downturn and that it would allow pedestrians with limited mobility to pass through the station, as well as issuing some free passes for the barriers it wants to see installed.

What do you think?

The case for access: Campaigner Geraldine Roberts (Chair of Residents Against Station Closure):

"The issue isn't about people having their tickets checked. In one instance when human ticket barriers were put in place at the train station only four ticket machines were working, scores and scores of people missed trains and were delayed. People who had one way tram tickets who wanted to walk through the station to the tram stop were not allowed. People who walk through the station who live on the other side were not allowed through either. It is a vital pedestrian link - 2500 people a day who are not using the trains use this as a walk through.

"The issue is that this is a purpose-built pedestrian link and is effectively closed when barriers are in place. Our argument is if they have a fare evasion problem they will want to sort this problem out, and perhaps one way of resolving this is to put inspectors on the platforms."

The case for barriers: Statement from East Midlands Trains:

"Since the start of our franchise, it has been our intention to install automatic ticket gates at a number of our key stations. Sheffield is one of these key stations. We believe automatic ticket gates are the most effective way of preventing ticketless travel, something that is critical to our business during the current economic downturn.

"We have been in discussion over these plans with local residents and other stakeholders for several months. We have endeavoured to reach a solution to maintain access through the station for those who believe they need it and have offered all local residents a free electronic pass to allow them to pass freely through the station."

The alternate footbridge with drugs paraphernalia
The alternate footbridge with drugs paraphernalia

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Marriott, Doncaster

Any argument using "going forward" etc cannot have any validity. Bring back British Railways and to hell with these greedy private railway companies that have no consideration for the general public but only profit. In other words preserve at all costs the right of free access to all old rights of way.

Anon, Sheffield & Nottingham

Sheffield City Council invested millions in redeveloping the station, including the footbridge. I have no doubt that this has massively increased the profitability of the station, which is managed by EMT. The 'alternative' bridge exit on the town side is high, requires elderly to walk up a lot of steep steps, and would need a lift fitting if it were to be made accessible to disabled people. As such it would need to be completely rebuilt. EMT want us to redirect further public money that could otherwise be used on schools or hospitals because they submitted a planning application that was flawed? This is farcical. EMT aggressively pursue maximum profit and have no concern for either their staff or the public. They couch this in talk of 'fairness' for regular train fare payers. I AM a regular train fare payer based at two of EMT's main stations [Nottingham and Sheffield]. I have consistently been treated with contempt and disregard for common decency by the EMT staff, no doubt because of the pressure placed on them by EMT to meet numbers. The way the company has handled itself with regard the station bridge - placing human barriers that bar local access to even the elderly despite their public statement to the opposite (as evidenced by John Murray's reply below), ordering the pub to lock its fire exit which would allow access to platforms, flouting council decisions and a strong public opinion that has fairly, democratically, and with justifiable reasoning refused their current plans - has been utterly despicable. EMT: take your massive profits and hire some architects that can find a creative solution to YOUR barrier problem. That's what any reasonable, socially committed company would do. Don't point fingers and throw accusations at a public that ultimately fund you. Personally, as a result of continued mistreatment by EMT staff and the company's disregard for the public, I have taken the decision to use alternative transport where available. I would encourage others to take similar action. Profit is the only language that EMT speak.

Anon, Sheffield

I travel to Conisbrough from Sheffield at least twice a month, and to Lincoln at least once and I have done for some years now. If you knew the amount of times I have run to the station so I didn't miss the train (which are around every hour to Conisbrough) and had to run straight on to the train, the amount of free journeys I have had on this route is uncountable. The problem is that the company don't check every passenger at every stop. I have had hundreds if not thousands of free journeys, due to the inspector not being bothered to walk down whole carriages to find out if I have a ticket. I feel the need to clarify that I very VERY rarely plan these free journeys but i admit i did a few, this however is not the reason i think the barriers are a bad idea, the fact is that if people want to dodge a fare, what is to stop them buying a ticket to Meadowhall then getting on the train and going to Lincoln, London, Conisbrough? If they staffed the trains better and the staff took the job more seriously then the problem of fare dodgers would almost disappear.

Simon Brown, Swinton

I commute every day into work in Sheffield. Perhaps the train companies, all of them, would have less trouble with fare evasion if they started treating commuters with respect. Currently we are bombarded with announcements and posters about fare dodging and anti-social behaviour (which promise to protect staff, no mention of the travelling public) which feel couched to accuse us commuters of being thieves or terrorists. I used to love travelling by train as a child. Now I'm just grateful if the thing turns up, roughly when timetabled and not too filthy or crowded, manages to arrive at it's destination; again, the timetable is only a rough guide, and very grateful when I leave the station.

N P Johnson

I've read that the result of a Sheffield City Council poll was that 94% of respondents wanted to retain the open station arrangement that currently exists. Not only do they not want to see the reintroduction of ticket barriers after about 20 years when the railway has functioned perfectly well without them, they do not think that restoring some old bridge to provide pedestrian access to the tram stop is the answer either. I don't believe that most of those voting think this way because they are dishonest people wanting to dodge fares. They presumably feel that any benefits the installation of barriers might bring (to the privatised train operator) is more than outweighed by the unacceptable inconvenience it will create for the majority of honest, fare-paying passengers, especially those in a hurry at busy times, when it's perfectly possible to check (and buy) tickets on the train. A station is not an airport, where ticket checking and red tape is obviously necessary prior to boarding the flight for security reasons. The idea that you are physically prevented from leaving the station without a ticket, for whatever reason, seems a strange concept in a "free" country. Where else would that occur? I find the argument that having barriers at the station makes rail travel safer for the honest passenger rather hard to swallow, especially if one reason for having them is to cut down on the number of staff (guards, etc) on board the train. Surely if the railway is a "public" service, EMT should now listen to the overwhelming views of the Sheffield public. Zoe is absolutely right. Barriers are not the answer to the fare-dodging problem. The people have spoken.


If ticket barriers were installed at Sheffield station it would effectively bar access into and out of town for thousands of people. The alternative bridge as shown from the pictures is filthy and dangerous, frequented by drug users. The station offers a safe and accessible route to and from town for those living in the Park Hill and Norfolk Road areas not to mention those who just want to walk through. Why should all those people be penalised just because EMT has a fare dodging problem? Why don't they instead put ticket barriers on to the platforms or supply more trains with conductors? This would prevent all the protests and general feeling of anger that they are provoking with their proposal to close the bridge altogether for those without a train ticket.


It's about time somebody spoke up for EMT and the ticket barriers, I don't get this whole thing about residents from Park Hill having to walk into town. There is a good tram stop there, the tram takes them right into the middle of town, don't even have to take the baby out of the huge buggies people use nowadays. The walk along the side of the tram also brings you out right in the shopping area.


What did these people do before the tram? I retired from the railway station in 2007 starting at Sheffield in 1974 and was previously at Cardiff for eight years. The barriers should never have been removed in the eighties when it became an open station. When the revenue staff made human barriers the tickets sold to destinations like Chesterfield, Mexborough, Rotherham etc were more in those days than we would sell in two months. We used to ask customers what was going off at these places. Why don't the council upgrade the footbridge at the south end of the station?


Nick, Steve, Ged and John have hit the nail on the head: since the fare-dodging issue is a matter for EMT then EMT can sort it by installing the barriers where the trains are, at platform level, and not inconveniencing hundreds, if not thousands, of pedestrians who use the bridge every day. We haven't heard any reasons from EMT why this cannot be done. Transport Man, bigprop, Rail User, Frank, Patrick, John, I'm afraid you are wide of the mark. The way for EMT to solve the fare-dodging problem is NOT to inconvenience the general public (who are not fare-dodgers because they haven't used the trains) and force them on to an unattractive, inconvenient and possibly unsafe route. Issuing free passes to local residents isn't the answer - what about the general public, how does EMT differentiate them from the rail passengers? In two ways the council might be in a stronger position than Paul Scriven thinks, which shows how much he knows. Just because the footbridge through the station is private property does NOT preclude it from being a Public Right of Way. Most Public Rights of Way cross private property. Indeed if the campaigners were to get in touch with the council's Public Rights of Way Officer they might find themselves with a good claim, which would mean EMT's plans would run straight into the buffers. Secondly, Sheffield Train Station is a Listed Building, which means any proposed works to either the outside OR inside of the building would require both planning and Listed Building consents. EMT (or the applicants) would have to prove that their alternatives for crossing the station are at least as good, if not better, than the current arrangements, and the council's Transportation Department would have to scrutinise them from the perspective of it's overall transport objectives for the city. It is at this time that, if the council sees fit to grant any such consents, conditions requiring a safe, attractive and convenient alternative route be provided prior to the installation of any barriers, could be imposed. Let's not forget that it should be the council's role in life to protect the everyday public from allowing private enterprises' ill-conceived, muddle-headed thinking to take hold just because it works out to be the cheapest. EMT's 'contractual requirements of their franchise' don't figure. You're going to have to play ball if you want your way, EMT, so start listening to some common sense.

N P Johnson

Ticket barriers are a uniquely British institution. They are not generally used elsewhere in Europe because the inconvenience they cause the travelling public outweighs the benefits they bring in terms of protecting revenue, I find it and for this reason the previous barriers were scrapped when the station was modernised, and Midland Mainline operated the London route. I find it hard to believe that the problem of fare dodging is any worse in this country than elsewhere. Obviously the correct method is to check tickets on the trains, and at busy times it would make sense for there to be additional staff on board, which would also make passengers feel safer. As far as Sheffield is concerned, it's not just about the bridge being open to the public, which is, of course, important because it gives safe access to the tram stop and the flats beyond. As other contributors have said, those using paytrains, who could previously buy tickets on board, now have to buy their tickets at the station, with the inevitability that connections will be missed, causing great inconvenience to the majority of travellers, because ticket offices will be busier and queues longer. It will also mean it will not be possible to accompany passengers to and from trains, and help them with their baggage. The comment that "unless you have a valid ticket for travel you have no right to be on the railway" is therefore clearly missing the point. Yes of course there are fare dodgers, just as I am sure there are on Supertram (where, incidentally, there are no "ticket barriers"), and I am not condoning their behaviour, but there are surely a far, far greater number of users of the station who will be inconvenienced by barriers or gates. Why must this country alone operate its railways with excessive officialdom, treat its users with suspicion, and make travelling generally an ordeal akin to airports rather than making it an enjoyable experience as an alternative to motoring?

Nick Tudor

EMT has got a point in that it should prevent ticket-less travel, however installing barriers in this way would inconvenience hundreds if not thousands. The response that they will give local residents free passes is unacceptable. It is not just local residents who need access to the footbridge but commuters by tram as well. Instead on causing controversy with ticket barriers at the beginning of the bridge, why not put these ticket barriers at the bottom of the stairs on platforms 2-7 and 8, create a foyer at the bottom of the four stairs where by you must pass through the barriers before entering the platform, this would mean EMT can prevent ticket-less travellers and pedestrians can still use the footbridge. Unless of course EMT's real reason for putting barriers up is to prevent non-paying pedestrians from using the bridge, this is the message they are sending people if they go ahead with the plans.


This may be wrong but If I remember correctly Sheffield city council did contribute to the building of the bridge so people had safe passage when it was rebuilt years ago. If this is correct then it is partially owned by the rate payer? Anyone else remember it being built? As for checking tickets perhaps these jobsworths should be on non-manned stations collecting fares. My ticket is checked at least twice a day without these waste of space no hopers.


It would be different if none of the money which paid for the bridge came from the public sector. If EMT want to put barriers in place, they should either put them on the entrance to each platform or be forced to pay back all the public money.

Megan Hartley

The problem isn't with the station, it's with the train company. Yes they must protect their revenue but their attention is on the wrong thing. There aren't enough staff on the trains to check tickets and collect fares. I travel from Rotherham to Sheffield and back every day on a monthly saver but my ticket is only checked maybe on three or four out of the ten journeys I make each week. No wonder people don't bother to buy tickets. Plus the trains are so full at peak times that the train staff can't get through the carriages anyway. More staff and extra carriages please!

Transport Man

EMT do not own Sheffield Station - it is leased from Network Rail. Furthermore, it is not a bus interchange as has been stated. Horizontal and vertical integration between local land use, social groups and transport infrastructure, including EMT, Network Rail and Sheffield City Council needs further study. As far as I am aware, the bridge in itself is private property, owned by Network Rail (part of the station) and is not a Public Right of Way. As EMT lease the station from Network Rail, they will no doubt install barriers for the duration of their franchise. Suggestions of removing EMT from their franchise and making people redundant is not the most sensible suggestion I have heard for a long time, particularly in the current financial climate. Not all EMT staff agree with the installation of a barrier at Sheffield Station, but other alternatives to prevent the loss of revenue need to be explored. I think too much flack is being directed at EMT for doing something which will protect them as a business and their passengers (from further fare increases), rather than asking the question to Sheffield City Council as to why they won't provide a suitable alternative?

Thomas Dean

I live over 3 miles from the station and walk into town and back home fairly often, often through that bridge as its quicker. I sometimes use the station platforms to lock my bicycle up in, if cycling, as I have had others stolen in the centre of Sheffield. I also go to the train station to use the free withdrawal cash machine, sometimes eat and drink coffee in the establishments there and pick up a free newspaper. And of course I go there to use the trains myself too. I often go to meet family/friends, and also to wave them off. Last week I went to Barnsley and I paid £3.60 single, I then returned on the same day for £3.60. I could have bought a cheaper ticket I know, but I wasn't planning on coming back so soon. Tickets were not checked. Yet there was a person on board who could. I could have travelled for free, but I am happy to pay, although I can get irate about the price when I have to stand for a full journey. The week before I was informed I could no longer purchase my ticket on the train on my way to Barnsley. I now have to faff around queuing, often being served my ticket by an electronic metal box before I can get on the train. Which is a damn shame when I have only a minute to get to it. At the end of the day, they should continue like they were doing so. Have members of staff sell and check tickets on board the trains, do not put in barriers at the station in order to ultimately reduce staffing costs in the future. Reducing staff on-board trains will only lead to an increase in fare dodging a bit further down the line. The barriers will only cause problems for the people like me who do pay to use the trains, but also use the station for other things (eating, meeting and passing through).The people evading fares will still evade fares. For starters they could jump the barrier, the wall, pay for a shorter journey, forge tickets etc. The best way to catch these people is to have staff on the trains. I have to conclude that the way for EMT to protect their revenue is to have staff on the trains check tickets and leave the station and bridge open. If they close the bridge, they will only cause resentment in Sheffield. If they close the bridge, I for one will boycott their services. The majority of us in Sheffield are decent people and prepared to pay to use the train, those that don't should be punished, with that I agree. But wouldn't it be better to lock them up/fine them than to inconvenience the majority of decent people who use the station for trains and also passing through etc... I tell thee what, if law and order wasn't such a joke, you would never need barriers. If the rail police weren't such a joke, you wouldn't have people going to use the 'dodgy' bridge as a safe place to take illegal drugs when it is less than 100 yards from where Sheffield's British Transport Police are based.

Richard Goddard

EMT want to stop fare dodgers and anti-social behaviour on the station. Fair enough. EMT have offered local residents a pass to use the bridge via electronic gates. Fair enough. The problem is Supertram passengers who do not wish to continue a journey by train needing to just walk to nearby. EMT and Supertram are both operated by Stagecoach PLC - why on earth are they wanting to inconvenience their own passengers?


If £50 million was spent doing the station access up to be the gateway of Sheffield and now East Midlands Trains needs to put barriers up to stop fare evasion there has either been a breakdown in communication between council and EMT, or EMT is enjoying the benefit of having a great access to its station and wants to make some money from it!!

Andy Y

I regularly go to the station to meet my elderly parents when they come to visit their grandson and me. They usually have a couple of suitcases and bags with them. These barriers would mean I wouldn't be able to meet them on the platform to help with their bags etc. And with platform staff to assist being non-existent, they would have to struggle by themselves till they could get to the main concourse where I could then assist! Come on EMT, stop thinking like penny pinching scrooges and have some humanity and community spirit. Keep the footbridge freely open to all!!


Fantastic!!! Well done EMT. why should i subsidise all the faredodgers from Sheffield? I'm told by a friend who works at the station the revenue when the human blocks were on was much higher than normal. This proves that most people just want an open footbridge as an excuse not to pay for train travel!!!

Gud Orwell

Have I missed something? Didn't us tax payers own all the railways when they were nationalised? (And still own all the infrastructure through Railtrack?) How much did this company pay to 'buy' this station for its private use? Why don't they help unemployment and engage a few ticket inspectors to collect punitive fines from fare dodgers instead of adopting what has become the standard British (Government) way - make everyone suffer for the criminal element?

James Saunders

For god's sake let's stop pretending that the rail network is a business - it is not, it is a public service, it makes no money. If Stagecoach want to continue getting handouts from the taxpayer to operate their monopoly can I suggest that they are a little less arrogant.

Dave Pickersgill

I was shocked to discover that, yesterday, EMT unilaterally closed the bridge at Sheffield station - immediately condemning hundreds of people to a long route round, using an ancient, badly maintained, and possibly unsafe, bridge. A bridge which has a number of steps, thus immediately indicating their contempt for the needs of both parents of young children and the disabled. Sheffield station has been open access for as long as I can remember and was recently revamped, using public money (Yorkshire Forward). The bridge is a vital thoroughfare for the people of the city. I also note that EMT provided no advance notice of this move on their website and, even after the event, there is no mention of these actions which could be seen as comparable to the overnight building of the Berlin Wall. Today there is a piece on their website with a phone number which you are invited to call - this takes you through a series of 'press button... ' This lack of a direct line further indicates the contempt with which EMT are treating their customers and the users of the station.

Steve Markham

Compromise!! The bridge runs from the concourse to the tram stop, with exits to platforms 2 to 5 and 6 to 8. Why not place barriers at the platform entrances and allow free use of the bridge to all?

Kate paying for others every day!

I am sick and tired of getting the train every day and witnessing the fare dodging first hand. Because no extra measures are put in place on the station to check tickets (whether that be on the platform or the footbridge) these people blatantly avoid the eye of the conductor on the train, lift up their books or papers, or flash an out of date ticket!... It is very easy as a passenger to see this, as we travel every day! The conductors have no chance of checking all the tickets on busy routes such as the Manchester to Sheffield stopping service, particularly when they are so overcrowded due to the influx of people who have cottoned on to this 'free service from Hathersage' at least 75% of the time. These people should not be subsidised by other honest people that see the rail fares go up consistently above the rate of inflation. From counting the number of people that avoid/don't pay (a whole carriage each day), and where they travel to and from, it is expected that each day one train alone could raise £200 that would pay for a very expensive daily rate of a cleaner and/or security guard for the alternative footbridge!

Wendy key

I think its poor what they have done. I usually get off the Supertram there to catch my train to Manchester. I wont be able to get through now. The food outlets are going to lose money as people who pass through and use these facilities will no longer be able to. They need to get their finger out and put more staff on. It's very rare that you see rail staff on the station.

Jenni Sayer

I was taken by surprise yesterday when human ticket barriers were put in place in the train station. When I asked one steward if I could simply walk through to get home I was told very rudely that I would have to walk around. The alternative foot bridge is dangerous, especially for a young female, and the alternative route inconvenient. Once Park Hill has been renovated and has nearly 1000 residents living in it again it is going to be utterly unthinkable to expect the number that will be travelling into the city centre to use a tiny, worn out foot bridge. EMT have done nothing to inform local residents, the only information I have heard about the barriers is rumours and gossip. It is very frustrating.


Why not keep the bridge open for the public to cross from one side of the station to the other, but put the ticket barriers at platform level at the bottom of each set of stairs? This would allow pedestrians through the station, allow people access to the platforms to help passengers with their luggage and stop fare dodgers getting onto the trains without tickets. The platforms at Sheffield are quite spacious, so with clever planning this should be a feasible solution that would meet everyone's needs...

John Murray

I was caught up in this shambles when I wanted to catch Supertram and was refused access as my concessionary pass is an out of area one, not SYPTE. However, it is valid on Supertram which I tried to explain, but clearly EMT staff had not been trained in which passes are valid. I am well aware that EMT need to deal with fare evasion, but they need to respect that Sheffield Station is part of a multimode transport interchange between bus, rail and tram and a lot of PUBLIC money has been spent on the station refurbishment. If needed, barriers should be at platform level, not blocking the bridge.

Geoff Richardson

I am totally opposed to installing the barriers preventing public access over the bridge which was built with public money. It splits the city in half.


Revenue protection staff are needed on the trains. Not just EMT but Northern trains as well. The answer is NOT barriers at the station. Where were the human barrier staff yesterday? Try putting them on the trains and enforce the 'no ticket' premiums/fines. EMT lose most of their revenue on destinations to unmanned stations. Try putting 'revenue protection staff' at stations like Dore and Dronfield for example. The occasional staff at these unmanned stations may even actually be welcome! What are EMT Stagecoach doing stopping Supertram passengers? Supertram is also a Stagecoach subsidiary

Rail user

As far as I recall, the 'new' entrance to the station from the Park Hill side was created to allow interchange with the Supertram. Yes, it also provides an additional entrance to the station. But this was never intended to be used as a 'short cut' for people to cross from one side of the railway to the other. The station footbridge is absolutely NOT a public right of way. East Midlands Trains have every right to install automatic ticket gates to restrict access to to those on railway business. If Sheffield City Council want to provide a short cut, then by all means, build one which does not interfere with the operation of the station. Paul Scriven, wake up and take note!


I used to live near Park Hill and I used the station at least once a day to get to work or into town. It would be terrible if EMT prevented hundreds of people who work or live on that side of town (or even who just want to use the tram) from getting to and from the city in this direct and pleasant route. I enjoyed my walk to work and I think it is great that Park Hill is being redeveloped but what's the point if East Midlands Trains are going to cut off that half of the city?Before saying that the council should be cleaning up that enclosed unused footbridge, i suggest everyone who's suggested that goes down there to see if you think it could EVER be a nice bridge, no matter how much money was spent on it. And wouldn't it be a stupid waste of public money to throw it at a horrible out-of-the-way footbridge when there's a perfectly good one that EMT are just being too selfish to let people use?Even if the council did clean up the other footbridge and lit it well, it would be unsafe, especially at night. It's a fully enclosed iron bridge and you have to go quite far down the tramlines - past where most people go - to get to it in the first place. Approaching it from the other side of the train tracks you have to go up some high metal steps at the very back end of the station - it woud never be a viable option. The angle of the bridge means you can't see clearly out of either end so intrinsically it is unsafe. It would always be much more pleasant and safer to use the train station pedestrian bridge. Why should the council have to spend more public money doing up a bridge that is never going to be safe - when the station has already had millions spent on it for the people of Sheffield (NOT money which came from East Midlands Trains either). Can't EMT just put more ticket collectors on the platforms or the trains - I presume they have to have conductors on the train to assist and check tickets so why do they need to have barriers. I use the train every day and have always had my ticket checked so I am not sure how they are missing these ticket evaders!Also Katharine - why not tell the ticket collectors if there are people who are blatantly not paying every day, or you can keep quiet and continue subsidising their travel?

Michael Riley

The open station system has worked for many years,so why change it,I wonder just how much revenue they are saying that they lose I seem to remember that the first thing they did when they took over this franchise was to stop the free tea & coffee which passengers previously enjoyed. Do East Midlands Trains own the station? if not what gives them the right to close the footbridge there? what becomes of the supertram stop there? What about the public money which has been spent on the ststion modernisation, how much did EMT contribute to that? I say boycott them and pressurise the powers that be to immediately scrap their franchise.


So the council can let tax payers money go towards a gimmicked slide in a building, but not help with a small commute from the front of the station to the tram stop.


I sometime struggle with my mobility making it tiring to walk long distances. I have to go from park hill in towards town. Ive been turned away a few tiems now once when i was on crutches and had to walk down to the other bridge and hump up the uneven steps. The whole area apart from the station is dodgy, ive seen needles hiding in the grass a few times and the old bridge is a muggers paradise no visibility anything could happen on there and no one would see. Ive also used the meat carriages and ive littled sympathy, theyre so packed at rush hour theres no way the conductor can get down the trains, they treat there customers like criminals and cattle. If they didnt have a monopoly on the lines im sure theyd go bust cause i certainly wouldnt use them.Fair paying customer

Barbara T

If the barriers are to be introduced then EMT should be forced to foot the bill for providing alternative safe, convenient access to the tram stop and Park Hill. Otherwise the change should NOT be allowed to happen.

Andrew Roscamp

Fare dodging is about taking rail journeys and not access through the station, they need to tackle this onthe trains. I regularly pick up family and friends from the station platforms, will I now have to purchase a ticket to help our visitors with their luggage? Is this another revenue generating scheme?Another option is to upgrade the secondary footbridge with security, lights CCTV etc.. to make it as safe as the one through the station, however I doubt Midland Trains will fund this!!


I think that the train station should be able to put up ticket barriers. I us the train to get to work and I have witnessed people getting on the train with no ticket and making sure they don't purchase one. I do think that its wrong that people without a train ticket are having to use an old bridge. East Midlands should donate some money to help get the bridge safe and cleaned up if they intend to make people use it.

Frank Smith

Perhaps now Sheffield City Council will be forced to spend some money cleaning up the public footbridge pictured?


as a group of commuters that travel between doncaster and sheffield we and ~150 people were abandoned by EMT when they rerouted the intercitys. NO alternative trains were provided and it is now the jam packed commute from hell. then these jobs worth checking tickets. these cause delays, anger and missed connections. my weekly commute has now increased by 2 hours a week because of EMT they deserve to loose revenue and should have the franchise removed immediatley resulting in redundecies

Patrick Cawkwell

If the unlit alternative route is so bad why don't Sheffield City Council clean away the graffiti, remove the evidence of drug use and install lighting on the bridge? They have known about this issue for long enough and really should have got their act together.Sheffield Council Leader, Cllr Scriven has a cheek to suggest that East Midlands Trains are behaving in a shoddy manner. He seems to forget, they are wanting to protect their customers, staff and other TOC's that use that station. Maybe he should some of his time in other means by working in PARTNERSHIP to resolve any issues.If Sheffield rail station was a solid brick wall you wouldn't stand there and argue and protest, or would you? Railway property is not a right of way.The fact of the matter is simple. Unless you have a valid ticket for travel you have no right to be on the railway.Sheffield City Council should support East Midlands Trains in intoducing methods of making public transport safe by upgrading the alternative route, by not doing this they are effectively pitching residents against the TOC and this isn't helpful for nobody.

John Kaye

Sheffield Council do not, as far as I know, own the station and therefore have no right to interfere with plans for ticket gates which should be in operation at all stations when staff are present. Far too many people travel without paying their fares. Why should I be expected to subsidise them?

Ticket barrier plans put on hold
13 Apr 10 |  England
Rail ticket barrier plan rejected
23 Nov 09 |  South Yorkshire

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