Story by Polly Perkins with photos by Richard Webb.
Tesco’s Carlisle Street pedestrian entrance remains closed in a controversial move by the supermarket serving Burngreave. Residents are petitioning against the access, inconvenience and public transport implications of the closure. There are no signs showing alternative pedestrian routes and the current instruction to ‘access via lower car park” has seen many take a risky ‘short cut’ down the car park ramp in order to avoid a 600m trek to the Savile Street Entrance.
“I have spent the last two days recovering from all the walking. Neither entrance by car park is accessible to pedestrians. The upper ramp is not designed to support pedestrians. The access on Savile Street is bang on a bus stop but getting there and back requires changing buses in town.”
Back in 2007 when Tesco were applying for planning permission, in a letter to the Messenger Tesco declared:
“… The vast majority of people we’ve been talking to in Burngreave tell us they would love to have a new supermarket in Spital Hill… An important part of our plans is the proposed pedestrian linkage with Spital Hill.“
Following the closure of the Carlisle Street entrance, a Tesco spokesperson said:
“After instances of anti-social behaviour and following feedback from customers, and in the interest of colleague and customer safety, the Spittal Hill [sic] entrance remained closed following the pandemic restrictions. We have other accessible entrances for customers to use and understand from customers that keeping this entrance closed makes shopping with us easier.”
Some customers are campaigning for the decision to be reversed due to concerns over safety and equality of access:
“During lockdown no cars used the ramp. Now they do. My granddaughter nearly got run over …We would like to see their risk assessment. Hope they look at this again soon. We don’t shop there with kids until they do”. Sahral Day.
“It’s one thing when you’re going in, but another when you’re carrying your shopping a third of a mile, back to the bus stops,” said Vikki Feilden. She has created a petition for local people who, like Esther Northcott “…Really resent being forced to walk the long way round… It totally discriminates against local people who don’t have access to a car.“
Access from the bus stops which serve Burngreave now involves a 600-800m walk.
To read the full letter from Tesco, sent to the Messenger in 2007, please visit our website archive.
To read the petition started by local residents visit: Tesco, please don’t make us walk amidst moving cars.
How does this affect you? Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
What people have said on social media
“I moved to Burngreave in August and genuinely believed this Tesco has been closed since this is the only entrance I noticed.” Habiba Yin Lais
“I have crutches and its hard work for me to get to the other doors.” Pete Hobson
“[Tesco] Had lots of problems with public and staff safety… The area above the entrance is usually occupied by drug dealers and gang members. The police really need to do their jobs before the doors open.
“ [Tesco] should hire door security from a firm that handles the club and pub doors in the city centre.” James Woollen
“…I think it’s a poor way to treat local people. People with young children and elderly people shouldn’t be made to walk an extra 15-20 mins with heavy shopping, or go down the slope and risk getting run over.” Daquiri Marguerite
“I stop shopping from there because this side is closed.” Shaheen Praveen
“We sometimes carol sing in Tesco’s at this time of year. Why don’t we commit to do it, in that entrance, as soon as they open it. And not to do it otherwise (after all, closed doors are famously the downside of a nativity play).” Huw Thomas