East Midlands Trains have produced an unsubstantiated claim that 10% of passengers have been “caught” using the Sheffield Station footbridge without a ticket. Presumably many of these are local people whose “crime” is to use the bridge to walk to their homes.
Green Party members have been at the station talking to users consistently since EMT started blocking access on May 6th. It’s clear that fare dodgers know they can get away with it for two reasons. There are not enough staff on the trains and those staff are prevented from checking tickets on overcrowded trains run with insufficient coaches. Taxpayers funded £50 million to refurbish Sheffield station and provide a gateway into the city. East Midlands Trains owners Stagecoach, who bought Supertram for just £1.15 million in 1997, want to block it off. It’s time to get the railways back into public ownership. Time to add the coaches and employ the staff required to cut fare dodging instead of constant cost cutting to keep shareholders happy but not rail users. Time to stand firm in support of Residents Against Station Closures. Time to vote in the Sheffield Council barriers online poll for option A “Don’t install barriers blocking off public access over the bridge and ask EMT to find another way of stopping fare dodgers”.
Sheffield Green Party