Arundel Gate: Controversial Sheffield bus gate raking in up to £5m-a-year divides opinion

'The signs have been up for months and are clearly visible'
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A controversial bus gate in Sheffield set to raise up to £5m-a-year has divided opinion, with some thinking drivers need to pay more attention.

The no-go zone on Arundel Gate is still snaring more than 200 motorists a day despite huge new signs were installed, the council has confirmed.

Fines fell 41 per cent after huge red warnings were installed on Arundel Gate.Fines fell 41 per cent after huge red warnings were installed on Arundel Gate.
Fines fell 41 per cent after huge red warnings were installed on Arundel Gate.
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The bus gate was issuing an average of 366 penalties daily until October 3 when Sheffield Council responded to complaints and put red warnings on the approach. That led to a 41 per cent drop, the authority said. But it means about 216 drivers are still falling foul of the rules each day. If they all paid the £70 penalty the council would rake in £5.62m-a-year.

On The Star’s Facebook page one reader said: “The signs have been up for months and are clearly visible, car drivers need to pay more attention. Yes it’s annoying that they have to find an alternative route but people complain enough about the council wanting cars out of town, so why is it really a surprise to anyone?”

Bill Brown agreed: “Just shows how little attention some drivers pay to the road. No wonder so many people are killed on Britain’s roads every year.”

Ian Hepplestone: “Read the street signs they are big enough.”

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Paul Parker: “Drivers should pay more attention… the council has targets to meet on air quality. The signs are big enough.”

Meanwhile, Malcolm Rotchell and others suggested they would go elsewhere.

“Fortunately I don’t have to go there anymore. Shop elsewhere is the answer.”

Anthony Ward: “Barnsley has a great shopping centre.”

Stuart Bamber: “Hello Chesterfield, our new town for shopping.”

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Steve Allen: “Just another nail in the coffin of bringing revenue into the city, it won’t be long before it’s a desolate wasteland like Rotherham, if they continue down this avenue.”

The way to avoid the bus gate on Arundel Gate is to turn at Novotel.The way to avoid the bus gate on Arundel Gate is to turn at Novotel.
The way to avoid the bus gate on Arundel Gate is to turn at Novotel.

Arthur Weston was one of many who wondered what the income would be spent on.

He said: “Maybe first on the agenda should be the bus routes that are being cut because, as the mayor says, not enough people using them. Perhaps if they ran regular enough people would have more faith of them turning up and use them.”

Each penalty charge is £70, reduced to £35 if paid within 21 days.  

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The council says money from the bus gate must be used for environmental improvements, public transport or highway improvements. 

Coun Ben Miskell, chair of the transport, regeneration and climate policy committee, said Arundel Gate was one of the most polluted areas of the city and “we need to do all we can” to improve air quality and speed up buses.

He added: “It is important the council protects the health of its current and future generations by trialling schemes such as this, testing their effectiveness and learning from the successes and challenges they face.  

Sheffield Coun Ben Miskell Sheffield Coun Ben Miskell
Sheffield Coun Ben Miskell

“When launched, the signage placed on Arundel Gate met the necessary requirements but we also included more yellow signage to go further and ensure people were aware of the road change.

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“After calls for more signage and subsequent analysis of those driving through the bus gate in non-permitted vehicles showing a significant proportion were from outside Sheffield, earlier this month further large signs were placed from Furnival Gate roundabout along Arundel Gate to increase awareness.

“So far, early analysis shows the number of non-permitted vehicles passing through the bus gate has dropped by 41 per cent. We hope to see this reduction continue and will not shy away from further improvements in future, should they be needed to help improve things for visitors to our city.”

The bus gate was introduced on an 18-month trial which ends in September 2024. The council says 'all feedback will be considered' before a decision is made on whether to make it permanent.