Major road closure in Sheffield city centre on track to be made permanent

A major city centre street is set to remain closed to traffic for at least another year-and-a-half due to a ‘positive’ response from businesses.

By David Walsh
Monday, 17th January 2022, 3:17 pm

A short section of Division Street will continue to be pedestrians and bikes only after the city council implemented a new experimental traffic order.

They are used when measures could be retained permanently, the authority says. A decision must be made within 18 months. A new six-month public consultation has started to help councillors make a final decision.

WHERE IS THE PEDESTRIANISED ZONE?

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Coun Douglas Johnson at a cafe in the pedestrianised zone on Division Street.

Division Street was closed between Westfield Terrace and Rockingham Street in June 2020 to allow social distancing in the pandemic.

It allowed businesses to put tables and chairs in the street including cafes Copper Pot and Lucky Fox and the Frog and Parrot pub.

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Coun Douglas Johnson, executive member for climate change, environment and transport at Sheffield City Council, said it had helped keep them afloat.

A short section of Division Street will continue to be pedestrians and bikes only after the city council implemented a new experimental traffic order

Mr Johnson said: “It is technically temporary but it is long term and people have come to rely on it. Having tables and chairs in the street makes it look as though something is happening. It’s good for a wander and makes it a destination.”

A cafe outside the pedestrian zone, Lone Star, closed in September 2020 due to a lack of trade, with bosses saying outdoor seating could have made the difference.

WHAT ARE BUSINESSES SAYING?

A Sheffield City Council spokeswoman said ‘anecdotal’ evidence from businesses had ‘generally been very positive’ because it had brought ‘a lot more trade to the area’

She added: “However, as the closure was put in place during lockdown, we now need to assess the impact outside of Covid restrictions.”

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