Green councillors expressed disappointment at the lack of further scrutiny, after hearing many claims but little evidence.
Labour and LibDem councillors joined to vote for “no action” to be taken. Only Rob Murphy, the sole Green councillor on the committee, proposed referring the issue back for a proper decision.
After the meeting, Martin Phipps, the Green Councillor for City Ward who led the call-in, said,
“I am really disappointed that the Inner Ring Road Scheme has passed through ‘scrutiny’ tonight.
“It really seemed that the decision needed to be deferred until some of the claims could be substantiated and scrutinised, but instead was voted ahead by both Labour and LibDem councillors”
Cllr Douglas Johnson, of Sheffield Green Party, said,
“We unearthed a number of inaccurate statements in the official report:
- The report claimed that a pedestrian crossing was to be replaced; in fact, it is just going to be removed.
- The report claims the Access Liaison Group (of disabled people) gave a view when it had never discussed the scheme
The Committee also heard that:
- The reason “no business case for cycling schemes has been identified” is because no business case for cycling schemes was carried out.
- Surprisingly big claims about improved bus journey times weren’t even mentioned in the report or supported by any evidence
- The Administration believes Increasing the number of cars on the road “will have a positive impact on air quality” – but it won’t release the feasibility study to prove this”
- Air pollution is predicted to remain at illegal levels
- The scheme is not meant to deliver a long-term solution
Cllr Johnson added,
“This whole scheme seems to be based on belief, not evidence”
Cllr Rob Murphy, commented,
“It’s hard to believe that Cllr Scott still says that widening a road from 2 lanes to 3 is not a road-widening scheme.
The Council needs to have a better vision for transport. It has to realise it can’t keep jamming more cars into the city and look at other alternatives, including bringing the nearby railway line back into use to offer a quick, easy route into town from the north of the city.
This ring road was only built 10 years ago, and is already supposed to be the most congested road in the city. This Council must learn from its mistakes and not waste another £4 million on a quick fix that won’t work.”
- The report on the Inner Ring Road widening and the call-in papers are at http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=7066#AI18541
- The Green Party comment on the scheme is at https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2017/11/29/inner-ring-road-plans-will-worsen-air-pollution/
- In their 2018, budget amendment proposal, Greens proposed that all future Local Transport Plan spending would be used only on sustainable modes of transport. The Labour group voted against the proposal.