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I am a Councillor on Sheffield City Council for Arbourthorne ward in Sheffield and a Labour Party activist.

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New traffic measures approved by Sheffield Cabinet

A pedestrian crossing has been given the go-ahead at the site of an accident that led to the death of a 14 year old schoolgirl earlier this year.

A petition containing 12,571 signatures was handed in to Sheffield City Council requesting a controlled pedestrian crossing and speed restrictions on Normanton Hill.

This followed the incident on 9 May near the Richmond Park entrance when 14 year old Jasmyn Chan was fatally injured and another 12 year old girl was seriously injured.

A report approved by the Council’s Cabinet explaining the measures that have been taken since the accident and setting out plans for the installation of a pedestrian crossing on Normanton Hill has been approved.

Councillor Jack Scott, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene said: “This was a truly tragic incident and we take it extremely seriously, as we do all road safety issues. The local ward councillors and I have worked closely with community activists to make sure we take positive action on this stretch of road to make it safer.

”We have already been working with our partners to reduce the speed of vehicles using Normanton Hill. The police have been undertaking regular speed enforcement checks and improvements have been made to the warning signs on the road. The Streets Ahead Improvement work in that area will include new, brighter street lights to ensure the park entrance and bus stop are properly lit. The pavement also needs widening. Tenants and private home owners have also been asked to cut back the vegetation hanging over the footpath.

“Our road safety teams are working with the Birley Community College and Outwood Academy to educate children and reinforce road safety messages to their students, but I don’t think this is enough. We need a permanent controlled crossing point to improve pedestrian safety for everyone needing to cross that road and so I’m pleased that the report to Cabinet is going to make this happen.”

Streets Ahead work has already commenced on this road with the renewal of street lighting. Surfacing of the road, as far as the park entrance, was carried out in August and the Council has funded the addition of a higher skid resistant material at the crossing point as part of these works.

South Yorkshire Police agreed to undertake speed enforcement in the short term and camera enforcement signs were installed. Mobile speed enforcement has taken place at regular intervals since July and to date 471 speeding offences have been identified.

In the short term the Council will be installing two VAS’s (Vehicle Activated Signs) to flash a warning to motorists to indicate the park entrance or school crossing patrol at the appropriate times of the day. The signs are being manufactured by a specialist company and will be installed this week.

Sandra Bradley, who is coordinating the work of the local community said: “It’s good to see that the Council are taking this issue most seriously. I’m so pleased with the way the community has come together after this terrible tragedy to help find solutions to the problems, but it is dreadful that so many drivers are still driving at such reckless and dangerous speeds in what is a 30 mile speed limit.

“The controlled crossing proposed in the Cabinet paper is what’s needed here. It’s also positive that the Council has agreed to name this crossing after Jasmyn as a way of keeping other children safe.  ‘Jazzy’s Crossing’ will not only be a lasting tribute to a very courageous teenager, but more importantly help to prevent any further tragedies on this very dangerous stretch of road.”

The Road Safety Education, Training and Publicity team has contacted both Birley Community College and Outwood Academy and is in the process of booking road safety education sessions with these schools. Both schools have already confirmed sessions with all Year 7 and 8 pupils and sessions with the other year groups will be confirmed shortly. These sessions will be delivered throughout this academic year.

Unprecedented Improvement in Condition of Sheffield’s Roads

Sheffield’s roads are in much better condition than this time last year, a survey carried out by the National Highways and Transport (NHT) Network has revealed.

The NHT’s Public Satisfaction Survey, which has independently questioned over 420,000 members of the public across the country about the highways and transport services in their area, found there has been remarkable 10 per cent increase in satisfaction of the road surfaces in Sheffield since last year.

This is thanks to the Streets Ahead team who are working hard to improve the city’s highways.

The survey also shows more people are satisfied with the highways services carried out as part of the Streets Ahead project including:

  •  An almost 10 per cent increase in satisfaction about the quality of repair to highways.
  •  Around a five per cent increase in satisfaction in the speed that repairs are carried out.
  • A four per cent increase in satisfaction in how damage to the highways and potholes are dealt with.

The NHT findings have been backed by a survey undertaken by Streets Ahead too.

The Streets Ahead team conducted a survey with residents who live in areas where highways work has already been completed.
Results show that there has been an impressive 33 per cent increase in the number of residents who are very satisfied with the condition of Sheffield’s roads in comparison to when they first asked residents what they thought.

The Streets Ahead survey also saw an increase in satisfaction in the condition of pavements (20 per cent), street lighting (35 per cent), maintenance of highway verges, trees and shrubs (five per cent), and the cleanliness of the roads and pavements (11 per cent).

Cllr Jack Scott, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene said: “The findings from both the National Highways and Transport Network’s survey and the Streets Ahead survey are really positive for Sheffield. They show us that the work we are doing is successfully turning Sheffield’s roads from some of the worst in the country to the best. This is a huge project but it’s great to see that we’re achieving what we set out to – smoother roads, better lighting, an improved environment and higher levels of public satisfaction.

“To date the Streets Ahead team has resurfaced over 280 miles of road and repaired over 22,700 potholes and we’re still going.”
Streets Ahead Core Investment Period Director, Graeme Symonds, added: “The findings from the surveys are really useful to Streets Ahead as they enable us to see how we’re progressing and what the public think of the improvements that we’re making. This is important to us and the fact that both surveys are showing such a significant increase in satisfaction is great news.

“Improvements to the highways will continue for the next three years and by the end of this period, residents and visitors to the city should see a huge difference to the condition of road surfaces across Sheffield.

“We’ll continue to carry out surveys as work progresses to monitor residents’ opinions of the improvements being made to the city.”

UK gender Pay Gap Increases Due To Government Cuts

Addressing Sheffield Air Quality Conference

I recently addressed the Sheffield Air Quality Conference, organised by the excellent East End Quality of Live Initiative.

Let me know what you think.

 

Launching Air Aware Campaign for Sheffield

A new campaign has been launched in Sheffield this week to raise awareness about air pollution.

The “Air Aware in Sheffield” campaign aims to inform members of the public about the different types of air pollution and the health risks associated with them, as well as giving people information on what they can do to help reduce air pollution in the city.

It is also intended that Air Aware in Sheffield, which will primarily focus on the biggest single source of air pollution – road traffic – will act as a platform to spark debate about air quality.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene at Sheffield City Council, said: “The key point here is that small changes can really reduce air pollution and enable better health for all.

“Air quality is an absolutely vital issue for all of us here in Sheffield. Regardless of where people live in the city, or whether they are drivers, cyclists, walkers or bus users, each and every one of us can play an important part.

“We’re not telling people to give up their vehicles – but what we are saying is if you have to drive, think about driving low emission vehicles such as gas, electric or hybrid cars or petrol cars instead of diesel. Also try ‘eco-driving’ techniques and think about ‘car sharing’, both of which will save you money on fuel, as well reducing emissions and improving air quality.

“It would be great if everybody could use their cars a little less, and cycle or walk a little more. Even giving up the car just one day a week would make a huge difference.”

The campaign aims to raise particular awareness about two air pollutants; nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM10), which mainly come from road traffic.

Poor air quality has been estimated to account for up to 500 premature deaths per year in Sheffield, with health costs of around £160m per year. It has short and long-term health impacts, particularly for respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Those people who are particularly sensitive and are exposed to the highest levels of pollution have an estimated reduction in life expectancy by as much as nine years.

Like many other major UK cities, in some parts of Sheffield both national and European Union health based thresholds for air quality are currently being breached.

A lot of work is already being done to try and address this problem. This includes working with local community action groups across the city involved in campaigning for cleaner air, working to our Air Quality Action Plan and developing plans to implement a Low Emission Zone Strategy in Sheffield by working with partners such as the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), local bus operators, local taxi operators and local commercial fleet operators to reduce emissions.

However, the support of each and every person in the city would go a huge way to helping Sheffield achieve its goal of reducing nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate pollution, to improve the health of local people and comply with regulations.

Cllr Scott added: “A modern, vibrant city needs to have a high-quality environment, including cleaner air and cleaner transport, for the benefit of local people and also in order to attract people to the city for work or leisure.

“Sheffield aspires to be a city where health inequalities are reduced and air is healthy for all to breathe.”

A bus advertising campaign, which is part of Air Aware in Sheffield, has already been launched, with adverts on the back of eco-friendly hybrid vehicles. Radio advertising and poster campaigns will begin in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, dedicated Twitter and Facebook sites are also being set up so that people can find out more and get involved. Find them at www.facebook.com/airawaresheffield and @AirAwareSheff

For further information visit the new website at www.sheffield.gov.uk/airaware

 

 

Sheffield School Children Adopt A Gritter

With children from Arbourthorne Primary School

With children from Arbourthorne Primary School

Thirteen of Sheffield’s fleet of gritters now have their very own personality, thanks to creative school children across the city who have named the vehicles.

The Streets Ahead team who grit the roads when winter descends, challenged pupils from 13 different schools across the city to come up with a suitable wintry name for each of the gritting vehicles.

Gretta Gritta, Ice Warrior, Sammy Snow, Selwyn Salt, The Bear, Melter Skelter, Girty Gritter, Snowy Steve, The Gritternator, Gritgrinder, General Grit, Steel City Gritter and Snow Catcher will be seen working hard this winter to keep the roads of Sheffield safe when temperatures drop below zero.

Cllr Jack Scott, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene, said:  “Asking children to get involved with naming our fleet of gritters is really exciting for them, especially when they see their adopted gritter out on the streets of Sheffield during the winter months. Children have a wonderful imagination and some fantastic wintry themed names were suggested. Well done to all the pupils that took part.

“We have made some changes to our winter maintenance service this year and this also includes some of our gritting routes and location of grit bins. By working with the schools this also gave us a good opportunity to inform parents of the changes we have made and to encourage them to prepare themselves this winter.”

Streets Ahead’s Highways Operations Manager, Jim Pursglove, added: “We’re really excited that our snow gritters have been named by local children. We’ve also been into schools and spoken to the children about keeping safe when ice and snow is on the ground. We like to get schools involved with lots of our Streets Ahead projects where possible, engaging them in the work that we do across the city.

“The Streets Ahead team are ready for the winter and have over 16,000 tonnes of grit and 19 gritters and snow ploughs, as well as 15 tractor ploughs.”

More information about Sheffield’s gritting service .

Follow us on twitter @sccstreetsahead for updated information throughout the winter period.

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