Carols demo in fight to keep rail footbridge open for all footbridge open

PROTESTERS campaigning against plans to close the bridge at Sheffield railway station to non-passengers are planning to hold a Christmas carol-themed demonstration tomorrow.

At 4.30pm, campaign group Residents Against Station Closure will sing traditional carols with new lyrics, which they say will remind East Midlands Trains (EMT) of the "importance of the footbridge to pedestrians".

Latest figures released by the train firm show that, despite most of Park Hill flats being cleared, the number of people walking over the bridge between the city centre and Norfolk Park continues to increase and is now around 2,400 a day.

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Graham Wroe, from Residents Against Station Closure, said: "These figures show that when EMT block the footbridge to people without tickets they are causing a major inconvenience to over 2,400 people.

"Thankfully these ticket checks seem to have stopped – we hope this is because EMT have had a change of heart and have seen the error of their ways."

This protest is the latest in a two-year battle to stop EMT installing ticket barriers which would prevent residents using the footbridge to access Sheffield city centre.

In November 2009, Sheffield Council refused permission for the barriers after 1,250 people objected. Former Transport Minister Lord Adonis then said talks with EMT had led to an agreement that barriers would not be put up until an alternative pedestrian bridge was built.

However, the train company has been blocking the footbridge to pedestrians, with members of staff checking people's tickets.