Tramlines gets it’s name from the city’s teams. This year Tramline’s main stages are further from the city centre than they have ever been, in Hillsborough Park. Teams run across the front of the park. At one corner of the park there is Hillsborough park tram stop and at the other corner Leppings Lane tram stop. Teams provide a smooth journey. They are reliable. They are more direct than the buses and you can get from Hillsborough Park to the city centre in 15 – 20minutes. The fringe stages in Devonshire green and Peace gardens are just a couple of minutes walk from a tram stop. There is a tram stop at the train station for anyone arriving by train. Other fringe venues are the pubs along West Street, which the tram runs down.
It is a great weekend to showcase Sheffield’s trams. On the other hand taking industrial action (striking) this weekend really highlights the cause. There is due to be strikes on all 3 days of the festival by members of the Unite union who would like pay to rise by 50p per hour. Currently the offer is 26p per hour raise.
As it is just one union involved with strikes them between 7am and 7pm on the three days there will be a limited service serving some stops at intervals of about 30minutes rather than the usual 5-10minutes. Often to accommodate special events like big concerts and at Sheffield arena, extra teams are provided and the workers manage to efficiently get thousands of people from the arena back to the city centre, using well established processes. Instead at the end of Tramlines anyone wanting to get back to the city centre has to find a taxi or face the unknown quantity of buses laid on by the council. The journey back to the city centre will cost £3 and no passes will be accepted so everyone adult or child has to pay £3. Bearing in mind normally, a day tram saver costs £4 and for that you can if you want spend all day on trams.
Luckily on the Saturday, to be sure of seeing Noel Gallagher perform, I do not intend to leave Hillsborough and I’m in walking distance of home at the end of the night.