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.

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.

 

Sheffield Cabinet Approves Ambitious Flood Plans

Part of my job is to make sure Sheffield’s rivers are clean, that Sheffield is protected from flooding and that our city is ready for emergencies (see here).

 

So it’s really good for Sheffield that plans to protect our city from the risk of serious flooding have received the green light.

A blueprint was drawn up in the wake of the devastating floods of the summer of 2007 – and on other occasions since defences have been stretched to the limit.

The city council has been working closely with the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water to reduce the risk of similar problems in the future.

There’s been work too in communities where the risk of flooding is greatest to put contingency plans into place and support them at times of danger.

Flood wardens have been trained by the Environment Agency to improve communications locally and to help coordinate the strategy.

There has been work to widen and de-silt many of the city’s rivers and the council has been working with Yorkshire Water on the management of peak river flows further upstream.

The end result of all the work is the Flood Risk Management Strategy for Sheffield, published following wide-ranging consultations with local people, organisations and businesses.

The aim of the strategy is to ensure the city targets the main problem areas and that resources are being used to the best effect.

Sheffield is a city of rivers and this is really important for our environment. Because of this we also know there is a risk of flooding.

As the effects of climate change become more apparent, we are likely to see more flooding, so we need to take action.

We want to minimise the impact of flooding on Sheffield people and businesses and also take the opportunity to improve the city’s environment.”

The plan was approved by Sheffield’s Cabinet on Wednesday. You can read a copy of the report.