A proposed barrier by Nottinghamshire County Council will block residents and businesses of seven roads near the City Ground from leaving or accessing their properties by vehicle on matchdays at Nottingham Forest.
The total number of affected residents is believed to exceed 50 on the included roads, which are Colwick Road, Pavilion Road, Trentside North, Thoroton Road, Orston Road West, Orston Road East, and Hawksworth Road.
Around 10 businesses would also be impacted by the council’s attempt to ensure safety from vehicles being used to attack crowds of people with measures such as imposing barriers that would be manned by stewards.
Residents have organised to share their concerns regarding the barrier, even creating a Facebook group to keep people updated.
Nick Le Mare, a 37-year-old flood defence engineer, created the social media group and said: “Without proper vehicular access to my house it will be very easy to get caught out and stuck on one side of the barrier.
“Currently we can easily just drive slowly down the road on match days no problem and as we pay for permitted parking, there is always space.”
Nick remains optimistic that solutions that listens to the concerns of residents but still considers pedestrian safety do exist.
He said: “One would be to provide a list of authorised people to the stewards manning the gate that can be let in and out as required.
“That way we can get any vehicle we need in and stewards can check people’s driving licences to prove their identity.
“There are lots of very simple solutions but we are not being listened to.”
It was originally set out as a barrier that would be further down Colwick Road, where it would only affect a few residents.
That plan was set out at a consultation event at the end of February at the City Ground, but the proposals have been significantly changed after CCTV surveys were carried out to monitor pedestrian behaviour on matchdays.
Mr La Mere added that he and “most other residents weren’t invited” to this consultation as the original location didn’t affect many of them.
Nearby businesses in the area are also worried about how the barrier could impact them.
Marie Smith, Director at The Washroom on the corner of Radcliffe Road and Colwick Road, said: “There can be hundreds of people here on matchdays, so I understand the concern but with a barrier here, our customers can’t come and park here on a Saturday, which is usually one our busiest days.
“Most of our clients drive here from far afield so a barrier that would impact us quite a lot and take away our business.
“We’ve been here just around a year now and if we knew about something like this, it would have influenced our decision.
“If the barrier is up until 10:00 pm, we would have to find alternative parking, so we could leave when we close.”
Lorna Baker, manager at The Fireplace Centre, added: “It would massively impact customer parking because we need our rear access for that. Life would be more difficult for us.
“People come around the back to collect products and Saturday is a busy day for our business.”
Via East Midlands, who carry out highway work for the County Council, have admitted to “a change in the proposal and this differs to what was exhibited at the two consultation events”, meaning the proposal now affects “a greater number of properties because the proposed gate location is now closer to the A6011 (Radcliffe Road).”
Nottingham City Council has been approached for comment on these proposals.
Consultations online went live on Tuesday 7 May, providing the opportunity for people to make their views known to the council.
The wording on the consultations page has led to further worry as it appears to suggest that the barrier could operate on weekend event days from 10 am to 10 pm, and on weekdays from 6 pm to 10 pm.
One resident, Sarah Pollard, shared her concern about this online and said: “The wording in the letter is also very different to what we have been told.
“I am currently trying to sell my house and it’s proving a problem.
“If this goes ahead it will affect the value of all of our homes as well as being a massive hindrance to us almost every other weekend.”
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