Traffic nightmare concerns over plans to relocate Sheffield's Tramlines Festival

Music fans at Ponderosa Park.
Music fans at Ponderosa Park.

Plans to relocate the main stage of Sheffield's Tramlines Festival further away from the city centre will cause a traffic nightmare, residents have said.

Event organisers are proposing to move the main stage from the 17, 500-capacity Ponderosa in Upperthorpe to Hillsborough Park as this would allow Tramlines to effectively double the potential capacity to 40, 000 for its 10th anniversary next July.

Ralph Broadbent, a key shareholder in the festival, told a public meeting last week that Hillsborough was the 'best place for it', while Richard Eyre, the council's head of major events who was one of Tramlines' founders in 2009, said a change was necessary as the venture had become 'too successful'.

But residents have come forward to tell The Star of their concerns about the move, with worries that the relocation will cause a traffic nightmare in neighbouring streets.

Terry Guest said: "Tramlines will be just another big gig in a field. Getting to and particularly away from it will be a nightmare."

Roz Rayner-Rix added: "Whenever I have been through HiIlsborough the traffic has been dreadful, surely Endcliffe Park would be easier to host the festival."

But other residents argued that Tramlines would be better suited in a new location.

Carl Tyrrell said: "I attended a public meeting three years ago regarding Tramlines at the Ponderosa.

"As I live directly next to the Ponderosa I suggested to Sheffield Council that it would be better either at Norfolk Park or Hillsborough.

"I was told that the main stage has to be near a tramline. After so many complaints from local tenants on the tower blocks, myself included, I think this would be a better place for Tramlines."

Steve Allen added: "Great location and biggest open space. 20,000 turned up for the Owls in the Park events so it should be ideal."

At last week's meeting, Mr Broadbent said no other similar-sized Sheffield parks were in the frame, citing Hillsborough's good public transport links to the city centre as the reason for them wanting to make it the festival's "central hub."

He added businesses were also likely to benefit as the event "brings in millions of pounds."

He remained tight-lipped about whether the Arctic Monkeys were being courted to top the bill with a homecoming gig next year, but agreed suitably high-profile artists would be needed to attract a large enough crowd.

A working group has been set up to address residents' concerns about noise, traffic, vandalism and the specific parts of the park Tramlines will occupy.

More meetings are set to take place.