City centre junction branded U-turn 'traffic hazard'

BUS operator First has claimed motorists forced to make a U-turn by the closure of a junction in Sheffield city centre are causing "danger and delays" to other traffic.

Sheffield Council will hold a public vote next month on plans to reopen the T-junction at Moorhead, between Furnival Gate and Pinstone Street. The centre of the junction is currently blocked.

Motorists heading from Charter Square to Furnival Square across the top of the Moor now have to turn left into Pinstone Street, make a U-turn, head back to the junction and turn left again.

The alternative involves driving out to the ring road and back, via St Mary's Gate, a detour of about half-a-mile.

Buses out of Pinstone Street used to turn right but now have to go left and double back at Furnival Square roundabout.

Brandon Jones, deputy managing director of First South Yorkshire, said: "We have raised concerns with the council about cars entering Pinstone Street from Moor Head and undertaking U-turns to exit Pinstone Street, which is dangerous and delaying other traffic."

He said the current layout does not delay buses despite the diversion because the lights for traffic leaving Pinstone Street stay green longer than when the T-junction was open.

He said: "I am not convinced the re-introduction of the right turn out of Pinstone Street would help increase overall bus journey times. Although it would be more direct it means you have to introduce more traffic signalling which adds a delay.

"Traffic modelling we have seen demonstrates that there is no overall benefit in reintroducing the right turn."

Sheffield Council will hold a public vote on its website, in the 'Driving Me Crazy' initiative, to decide whether the Moorhead T-junction should be reopened, after complaints from the public.

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