A MOTORBIKE dealership has abandoned its site in Sheffield city centre and moved to Barnsley to avoid pressures caused by the city’s ‘clean air zone’.

Via Moto was located on Shoreham Street in Sheffield, however is now in the process of moving its operations to Wombwell’s Everill Business Park.

The change comes in response to owner Matthew Gilder’s fears regarding the zone, which enforces charges on large commercial vehicles travelling in Sheffield.

While there are currently no restrictions on personal vehicles, there are concerns this may be the next step as cities like Bristol and Bath have already begun charging individual travellers whose vehicles don’t meet emission standards.

Matthew told the Chronicle: “There were several things all happening at once.

“We were having trouble with one of our suppliers - the building we’re currently at was becoming much more expensive to run.

“Then on top of all this they introduce the clean air zone.

“While it’s not a massive burden yet, because it doesn’t affect personal vehicles, anyone delivering to us was affected so they had to put on this extra charge.

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“My thought is that day follows night and it’s likely they may choose to introduce the same charges as Bristol.

“Half our staff probably have cars that don’t meet the standards, and then what if customers can’t get in?

“Or what if they want to test ride a bike that doesn’t match?”

Matthew decided Wombwell would be an ideal and easily accessible spot - and believes Barnsley will have a ‘competitive edge’ with businesses moving forward.

The the new site will be opening on June 22 where Mayor John Clarke and superbike champion James Toseland will attend.

“I have to compliment Barnsley Council,” Matthew added.

“In all the years I was in Sheffield I didn’t hear anything from that council, but as soon as I started renting this new place I got a call from the council asking what they could do to help.

“It makes a big difference actually feeling wanted.

“Not having these charges is really going to help, I can imagine Barnsley will have a competitive edge in future.”