Call that an apology?

Rustlings Road
Rustlings Road
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The official hardcopy apology arrived through the doors of Rustlings Road overlapping the timing of the council meeting last week.

It is phrased as ‘on behalf of the Sheffield City Council’ – not as any particular individual. That implicates every single one of the council members. Do they realise they are being all held responsible for this debacle by inference.

The apology regarding the publishing of the Independent Tree Panel report is too late for Rustlings Road – it meant that their questionable recommendations could not be challenged; very sad when Coun Lodge also confirmed he would now look at ‘Flexi™-pave’ 14 months after their managing director visited the street and considered that all the healthy trees could be saved by its use there (and the council and the ITP then seemingly refused to listen or look at the evidence subsequently sent).

The apology only appears to extend to disturbing the residents. On Radio Sheffield, Coun Lodge inferred there was nothing unusual about doing highway works in the middle of the night for safety and convenience. But this was not the middle of the night – it was 5 o’clock in the morning. It was pretty obvious that it would run into rush hour on a street that is not only a main artery into Sheffield centre, but also part of the limited circular routes between these main radials – it is busy in both directions. The chaos and delay caused to many in their journeys to work – not least by the buses that were redirected without a warning on the bus stops – was still evident with queues many hours later. And caught up in this were hundreds of schoolchildren walking and travelling to schools at both ends of the road (and the many school buses that normally use this route from across the city to reach the two Catholic schools at Ranmoor).

And not only were the people of wider Sheffield disturbed, their friends and family have been equally appalled, and messages have been received from around the world.

What on earth can be considered ‘safe’ in this? We might be lucky that the only damage apparently caused that day – apart from irreparably to the trees – was to the global reputation of Sheffield as a Green City and to how its elected representatives treat those responsible and law-abiding citizens that pay its taxes.

Rustlings Road resident

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