Thursday 26 January 2023
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Petition calls for better matchday traffic controls at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground

More than 200 people have signed a petition calling for better traffic controls when Nottingham Forest play home matches at the City Ground.

The Reds are playing their first season in the Premier League in 23 years after securing promotion from the Championship last May.

Home attendance has increased and greater numbers of away supporters are also making the trip to Nottingham.

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But concerns were raised in a recent council meeting, centred on complaints about traffic management and disruption in West Bridgford on matchdays.

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Bus companies say there is a lack of pedestrian control across Trent Bridge, some taxi drivers claim to have been threatened by customers and others say traffic is being brought “to a standstill”.

Councillor Penny Gowland (Lab), who represents West Bridgford North, raised the concerns during Nottinghamshire County Council’s full council meeting on Thursday (January 19).

She presented a petition, with 233 signatures, calling for the council, the club and Nottinghamshire Police to work together to prevent “dread” in the town.

“This year, I’ve become a firm fan of Nottingham Forest Football Club and I want everybody in West Bridgford to be able to share in the excitement of home games,” she said.

“But the truth is, some people have come to dread the games.

“I’ve had complaints from bus companies about a lack of marshalling of pedestrians on Trent Bridge, complaints from taxi drivers about threats from both residents and customers.

“Buses, drivers and cars are also brought to a standstill on matchdays.

“This petition is signed by 233 people who ask the council, the police and the football club to try and better manage the transport in the area during home matches.”

Issues preceded the club’s playoff win last year, with new traffic barriers installed on nearby streets last year leading to concerns about local residents being “barricaded” in their homes before and after games.

Traffic has also been known to bottleneck across Trent Bridge, London Road and areas like Radcliffe Road when Forest plays at home.

However, similar issues are also felt when Trent Bridge Cricket Ground hosts high-profile matches and when Notts County play at Meadow Lane.

And Cllr Neil Clarke (Con), the county council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, admitted sport-related traffic around West Bridgford is a “challenge”.

But he said the Conservative-led authority already works with the police and the club on traffic management and praised the impact the sports clubs have on local tourism.

Responding to Cllr Gowland, he said: “I fully appreciate the petition submission.

“There are challenges and we do and will be working with the police and the club regarding matchday traffic.

“I’m not going to pretend it isn’t a challenge.

“But having all those venues does have the benefit of bringing vital business to the local economy, whether that’s hospitality venues, taxis, hotels, which are all part of the vital local economy.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham Forest Football Club have both been approached for a comment.

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