Thursday 20 June 2024
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Residents, care workers and parents access to and from homes BLOCKED by new gates at City Ground

Calls have been made for a “better and more pragmatic solution” to safety measures at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground stadium after reports of residents being “barricaded in their homes” by new gates on matchdays.

The gates, near the Pavillion Road, Colwick Road and Orston Road areas of West Bridgford, were installed last year to protect the safety of both fans and residents when the Reds play at home.

The barriers restrict access for cars in the period leading up to kick-off and directly after the full-time whistle.

But residents have reported difficulties with the new system on matchday, including some being prevented from gaining access to their streets or even getting stopped from leaving the area during busy periods.

A petition called for the club to meet with the residents, Nottinghamshire County Council and the police to find a better solution, with a councillor calling for an outcome that “benefits residents and fans”.

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Councillor Penny Gowland (Lab), who represents West Bridgford North on the council, submitted the petition to the authority during Thursday’s full council meeting.

She said: “Residents are frustrated, to say the least, by the situation regarding new gates which barricade them into their homes during matchdays.

“I’ve heard residents being unable to get home from work, children missing sporting activities and carers who cannot get out from behind the gates to get to the next person they’re looking after.

“We are proposing Nottinghamshire County Council, along with Nottingham Forest and the police should come together with residents to find a solution which keeps the fans safe and makes these roads accessible.

“We understand these safety measures are needed on matchdays and they’re going to be important in the long-term, but we need better long-term solutions that benefit residents and fans.”

She adds the gates are posing a “huge inconvenience” to residents who are “paying council tax, paying road tax and who expect to be able to get out of their houses”.

John Lennard, 79, has lived on Orston Road for more than 40 years and is one of the residents who has experienced difficulties.

He said: “We are given passes but it can only be used in an emergency and you’ve still got to get through the crowds. The whole street is chocker.

“I’ve pulled up a minute later than when the barriers are closed and they won’t open them, and I’ve had to go and park on Radcliffe Road and wait until they’re open again after kick-off.

READ MORE: Labour submit petition to end residents’ frustration over barriers at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground

“I’ve spoken with them and asked why I can’t get through and they said the only way we could get through is an ambulance or a fire engine.

“I don’t know what’s classed as an emergency, you might have had a call from the hospital to get there urgently or something.”

Nottinghamshire County Council says it is aware of the issues and is willing to speak with the club and residents to find a “better and more pragmatic solution”.

Cllr Neil Clarke MBE (Con), chairman of the transport and environment committee, said: “I’m very aware of the issues as I have been speaking with senior council officers and have been in dialogue with Cllr Gowland for a number of weeks.

“Going forward, I am very happy for all parties to come together for a better and more pragmatic solution for residents.

“This includes Nottinghamshire Police, residents, the club themselves and the council.”

Nottingham Forest Football Club has been approached for a comment.

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