Sheffield Green Party Councillors are backing local residents’ calls for safer roads, keeping the closure of a number of roads to through motor traffic. The roads remain open to people who walk, cycle or use a wheelchair or pram.
The Active Travel Neighbourhoods in Nether Edge and Walkley/Crookes were established using an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order in 2022, stopping through-traffic on a number of roads, preventing rat-running and making them safer for people on foot and on bike.
“I have had an overwhelming number of residents contact me asking me to support making both of these Active Travel Neighbourhood schemes permanent. They’ve told me that the improvements have been a huge success and that people want to keep them. Children feel safer to play in the streets, and neighbourhoods are more pleasant and liveable. I was particularly impressed when primary school children from Nether Edge contacted me to express their appreciation of being able to walk safely to school and to Scouts. Any reopening of these roads would be met with utter dismay.
“If we are serious about reducing road collisions, addressing climate change and health problems caused by lack of physical activity, then it is schemes like this that really make a difference. We have to put communities before cars and back safer streets for local people.
“I have studied the objections to the changes and the evidence shows that there has not been a measurable rise in traffic on adjacent streets. There are people who want to drive their cars where they like, with no restrictions, but we have a responsibility to the wider community and to residents who want to live in a safer, calmer, quieter and more pleasant environment. The Council took a small but important step by installing these filters and they have been a success. It would be irresponsible to go backwards.”
The Green City ward councillors welcome the Connecting Sheffield proposals for improving active travel infrastructure by adding segregated cycle lanes and much needed pedestrian crossings, reducing public transport travel time and adding greenery to the ward, which is one of the most deprived wards in Sheffield in greenery and green spaces.
In discussions with and listening to residents in Kelham Island and Neepsend the need for cutting off the rat run through Kelham Island has come up many times, we welcome that this scheme finally addresses this.
Alongside this the crossing at Rutland Road junction has been much requested by residents and visitors alike and is something we have been pushing for for many years. People do not feel safe crossing there at the moment, and there is no nearby managed crossing. Adding one will make a big difference to the area, especially considering potentially increased demand with applications for new developments in the area.
It is welcome to see a change in transportation planning and to see innovations like the Dutch roundabout proposed, which would give pedestrians and cyclists priority. We welcome this, although note that improvements can be made to the suggested to design, such as those made by CycleSheffield and wish these are taken into account.
To meet our carbon neutral ambitions as a city, country and world we must make carbon free means of transportation as accessible as possible. Improving public transport infrastructure and reducing the time taken to reach destinations by public transport is important in providing environmentally friendly viable alternatives to private car travel. Improving active travel infrastructure has been shown to increase the amount of use of active travel, which as well as being good for the planet is also good for our health.
We would like to encourage all nearby residents, people who work in the area and those who travel in the area to submit feedback so suggestions can be taken into account.