Smooth operators: Sheffield’s £2 billion road resurfacing streets revealed

Improvement plans: Sicey Avenue
Improvement plans: Sicey Avenue
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THE first areas to receive smooth new road surfaces in Sheffield’s £2 billion Streets Ahead scheme can today be revealed – as the city also gets set to be the first in the world lit up entirely by LED streetlights.

Roads in Shiregreen and streets near Stocksbridge will be first to be resurfaced under the work to renew all the city’s highways.

And the familiar orange glow of traditional streetlamps is to be replaced by brighter white light, as Sheffield becomes the first city in the world to have all its streetlights fitted with light-emitting diodes.

Lights will also be centrally-controlled, with officials able to reduce or increase the brightness.

Work begins on Monday, September 3, to resurface roads around the Shiregreen estate, which will take around six weeks, and roads around Ewden, between Bradfield and Stocksbridge.

In Ewden the scheme will take until the end of December because streetlights are also being replaced, and bridges and walls repaired.

Street lights have already been replaced in Shiregreen.

A third area, Carbrook, will see work starting from October and lasting until the New Year.

Sheffield Council and its chosen contractor Amey believe the project will transform Sheffield’s roads from the ‘worst’ to the ‘best in the country’. The city’s road network has been divided by the council into 81 residential areas and 27 main road zones, which will be upgraded one at a time.

The main roads will begin to be resurfaced from the beginning of 2013 – although the area to be tackled first has not yet been chosen.

Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council cabinet member responsible for the project, said: “This is amazingly good news for Sheffield. We know the state of the roads is a major issue and this investment is the right thing to do.”

Work to upgrade roads, pavements and streetlights will be carried out by Amey and take around five years. The company will then be responsible for maintaining the roads in the same good condition for the following 20 years. The project will create 170 jobs, in addition to the 480 workers whose roles are being transferred from Sheffield Council’s Street Force department.

The council estimates that 11 times the current amount of work will be carried out over the next five years.

Funding for the scheme is coming from £1.2 billion awarded by the Government, plus £800m of council funding – comprising the £380m which would have been spent on the roads over the 25-year period, plus additional cash, some of which will be borrowed.

Graham Simons, network director for Amey, said: “We then anticipate no road will need any major work for 10 to 15 years.”

PLEDGE TO KEEP THE PUBLIC INFORMED

RESIDENTS will be kept informed about work on their streets through a major new public awareness campaign due to take place in each area of Sheffield.

Officials have promised all householders will be notified in the weeks before resurfacing work is due to start.

Leaflets will be delivered to residents, and signs will be erected. Residents will be warned to ensure their cars are not parked on affected streets when work takes place – and the council has stressed vehicles will be towed away only as a ‘last resort’.

Amey is also hiring ‘neighbourhood stewards’ to talk to residents and business people whose premises are affected, and ensure they are prepared. Roadworks will mean temporary traffic lights on major roads and the closure of minor roads when the main resurfacing work is carried out.

Sheffield Council and Amey say they are working on a small number of zones in different locations at any one time to reduce disruption.

* Full details of areas where work is taking place are available online at www.sheffield.gov.uk/streetsahead

* Residents of Shiregreen can find out about work on their estate between 4pm and 8pm on Wednesday, July 25, at Shiregreen Neighbourhood Centre, Sicey Avenue.