Sheffield is an attractive place to live and work, of that there is no doubt. There is no doubt because for some time if you have wanted to get in or out in a car then chances are you’re constantly scratching your head as to which route might be the quickest.
That said, you could be forgiven for thinking things are moving more quickly in and especially around the city centre, following £65m of investment. But you’d be wrong. Figures obtained by The Star suggest it is taking longer to navigate our rather expensive inner relief road than it did previously. Peak time commuters can either rise before the lark and beat the bedlam, or they will almost inevitably be forced to sit on the ‘car Parkway’ bubbling away with frustration. The news will come as no surprise to many, but as the city recovers from the recent Centre for Cities report, which pulled no punches in its beating up of Sheffield, this is one issue that could have been a feather in our cap. The inner relief road could have eased traffic. It should be something that encourages people to visit our city, as well as a catalyst for trade relations with outside regions. Instead we sit here embarrassed that millions have been spent, and yet we are in fact in a worse place than we were prior to the work being carried out. But what are we to do? Is anyone responsible for this debacle putting up their hand and confessing to being at fault? Is the perpetual state of non-accountability for those in public office going to protect whoever made it take even longer to get in and out of Sheffield for evermore? Pretty soon the runners and riders in city economics are going to be too far ahead for us to catch up. If plans like this continue to hit the skids, then Sheffield is likely to be lapped by the leaders – albeit not on any of its roads in and out of the city, there’s no opportunity for fast-moving overtaking here folks! by James Mitchinson Editor