New 20 Miles Per Hour Zone in Sheffield City Centre

Sheffield City Council will introduce a 20mph speed limit in the city centre following strong public backing to the recent consultation.

 

Sheffield drivers to face 20mph city centre speed limit from Sheffield Live on Vimeo.

A 20mph speed will now be rolled out before the end of the year on hundreds of streets in Sheffield city centre in a bid to make roads safer, better for pedestrians and cyclists and to improve air quality. The consultation sought public feedback on Council plans to provide a new speeding zone on more than 300 roads in the middle of the city, encompassing nearly every street apart from a few major thoroughfares such as Arundel Gate, Derek Dooley Way and Sheaf Street.

The Council is also making plans for additional improvements to tackle congestion on the inner ring-road.

Over the recent months the city centre has witnessed an increasing number of traffic accidents and this is something the Council clearly wanted to address. It is hoped that reducing the speed of traffic in residential areas will, in the long term, reduce the number and severity of accidents. This should also reduce the fear that accidents will take place, thereby, likely to lead to more sustainable modes of travel such as cycling being adopted – resulting in a more cohesive environment overall.

Since Labour were elected to run Sheffield City Council in 2011 a series of measures have been undertaken to achieve their aim of establishing 20mph as the maximum speed for residential areas throughout Sheffield. The restriction has already been introduced with great success in areas such as Darnall, Gleadless Valley, Heeley and Stannington and now the city centre is to follow.

Labour Councillor for City Ward, Moya O’Rourke, was elected in 2015 and after many conversations with local residents it became apparent that there was an overwhelming majority who backed the plans: “Since my election I made a promise to the ward that I would make our city centre roads safer and more environmentally friendly – and I have been pushing for 20 mph zones in the centre to do just that.

“I’m delighted that so many residents in my ward contributed to the council’s public consultation. There is no way this policy would have got off the ground if there wasn’t such a strong will to make it happen by Labour councillors. It’s quite odd that the Sheffield’s Green Party are always trying to claim credit for the policy as, quite frankly, their involvement and relevance to this has been zero”.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure at Sheffield City Council, said:

“Anyone who’s been in our city centre recently will have seen that it is growing rapidly and for the better, with cranes, new shops and new developments. It needs to be a place where safety and sustainable travel are actively supported and encouraged.

“I’m pleased that the consultation was received so positively. This Labour Council is absolutely determined to improve road safety throughout the city and 20mph zones play a big role in this. Not only do speeds reduce in these areas, there’s a reduction in the severity of the accidents and an improvement in air quality”.

Councillor Scott also acknowledged that some submissions to the consultation questioned the effect of the speeding zones on air pollution.

In response Councillor Scott said: “I am aware of concerns that travelling at 20mph could negatively affect air quality. However, the evidence actually shows that at a constant lower speed a driver will use less fuel, and safer roads should mean more people taking up walking and cycling instead. I am absolutely committed to improving safety on our roads and taking real action to improve Sheffield’s air quality. Pleasingly, this measure should help in both of these respects in City Ward”.

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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.