Small businesses will be 'butchered' by new road plans, says postmaster

A postmaster said Sheffield Council’s “ludicrous” plans for traffic measures on Ecclesall and Abbeydale roads will “butcher” small businesses.

Nasar Raoof made the comments in a passionate speech as he presented a petition with more than 7,500 signatures opposing the plans during a full council meeting earlier this week.

The plan is to extend bus lane operation times to 12 hours a day, remove parking and create a red route on Ecclesall Road and Abbeydale Road with the aim of improving bus services and encouraging people to ditch their cars.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

On behalf of affected small businesses, Mr Raoof said: “We are really upset, stressed and angry. We are angry for a number of reasons.

Nasar Raoof made an impassioned speech at the meeting

“Businesses like mine, the post office that has been going for 20 or 30 years will now have to close its doors because a Green councillor has proposed a 12 hour bus lane and red lines all the way along it which will prevent Royal Mail and courier vans and the most vulnerable people in our community from coming to our post office with packages and items to drop them off.

“As if we didn’t have to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and most small businesses had to close their doors, as if we have not got the financial pressures of our children and our young people to deal with, now we are having to deal with the incompetency and the ludicrous butchering and murder of local businesses by the Green Party and Green councillor Douglas Johnson.

Read More

Read More
Sheffield should make it's own decisions not 'some idiot down in London' says co...

“The fact you took a four hour walk with us and listened to the businesses then went to the Sheffield Star [saying] these proposals aren’t going to be watered down. Do we mean anything? Do our voices mean anything? What will it take?”

Councillor Douglas Johnson, co-operative executive member for climate change, environment and transport, said the council had not yet made a decision on this and it was only in the early stages of consultation, adding that it would weigh up all the factors before making any changes.

He said: “These proposals are always worked up with a number of professional officers and I think it’s really important to consult with the public but there we go.

“I absolutely don’t doubt the sincerity, as you know I visited and it was quite helpful to talk to you.

“There is always a danger that perhaps people’s anger about what might happen takes over. What’s really important is people actually respond to the consultation that is out there, that’s the point of it.

“There is a lot to be said for installing proper bus routes there. You’re right, it is a social justice issue, still not everyone has a choice over whether they can drive a car or take a bus. Many people where I live actually don’t have cars. People rely on buses to get to work or pick their kids up from nursery and that.

“I’m not trying to trivialise what you are saying but there is no need to get so overblown about it. We will see where we go.”