Sheffield Council has signed off a plan to redesign a city centre roundabout - despite objections from cyclists.
Work to overhaul Charter Square will start later this year after the scheme was approved by Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure.
The roundabout and the road link between Wellington Street and Charter Row will be removed. The redesign will also include a two-way cycle lane on the south side of Charter Row and Furnival Gate, and a cycle lane through a new pedestrianised area to Wellington Street.
The first phase of the Sheffield Retail Quarter - new offices for HSBC - will be built nearby, featuring new cafes on the pedestrianised area.
Coun Iqbal said “This long-awaited scheme will be an important part of creating a modern and vibrant city centre, complementing the work on the Moor and future developments in the area.
“It will remove one of the remaining unloved subway systems in the city centre in favour of much better pedestrian and cycling access. A new signal-controlled junction will be created at the bottom of Rockingham Street which will have both pedestrian and cycle crossings built in.
“This new junction will also provide access to Wellington Street car park. A new off-road cycle route will be created through Charter Square alongside a new high-quality public open space.
“Care has been taken to ensure that access into and out of this part of the city centre is retained and that traffic will not be unduly delayed. And there will be new parking spaces for blue badge holders close by.
“We are pleased that the Charter Square work can now progress with works to commence later in the year, and we will continue working with nearby businesses and other groups to develop the scheme further.
“Important transport infrastructure works like these are essential to the growth of the city centre.”
Members of campaign group Cycle Sheffield objected to the plan.
Dexter Johnstone said: “CycleSheffield have serious concerns about the Charter Square plans as they stand.
“The safety and convenience of accessing this area by bike is either not improved and in some ways it is made worse, as these designs create new hazards for people cycling which didn’t exist before.
“We want to see new developments in Sheffield taking every opportunity to make cycling a safe, healthy and convenient option for everyone’s day to day travel, and these Charter Square plans don’t live up to this aim.
“We don’t believe they are consistent with the ambition needed to meet the council’s target of increasing cycle journeys in Sheffield from current levels of under one per cent to 10 per cent by 2025. We urge the council to reconsider these designs.”
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