Controversial closure of Pinstone Street in Sheffield city centre road is extended - but its future is still up in the air

A controversial road closure in Sheffield city centre has been extended - but its future is still up in the air.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 2:16 pm

Pinstone Street will remain closed until April 16 after councillors agreed a new ‘temporary traffic regulation order’ due to construction work on the Radisson Blu hotel – a 154-room hotel set to open in the former Palatine Chambers in 2023.

It replaces an old order which closed the road in June 2020 to allow social distancing.

But while the road closure continues for now - its long term future has yet to be decided.

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How Pinstone Street could look (still from a promotional video for the Heart of the City 2 scheme). But will it remain closed to traffic?

Some 36 bus services had to be rerouted and many users, backed by Labour leader Terry Fox, would like to see it reopen in some form.

The Greens - who share power with Labour - want it to remain closed to encourage cycling and walking, to meet the city’s ‘zero carbon’ by 2030 goal and to prevent millions in funding being clawed back or withheld.

Coun Douglas Johnson, executive member for climate change, environment and transport, said: “The decision as to whether Pinstone Street will be opened to traffic is ultimately with the co- operative executive.

“The road currently has a Temporary Traffic Order in place due to construction works and is closed to motor vehicles, except for access and emergency.”

A section of Pinstone Street was widened in the pandemic to allow social distancing. The new tarmac may still be removed.

A council spokewoman said the duration of the order could be extended with the approval of the Secretary of State for Transport.

Some 981 have signed a petition for health professionals calling for the traffic ban to stay, set up by Sheffield GP Jo Maher.

It states space for walking and cycling is a ‘basic human right’, as is the right to clean air.

It adds: “By reversing the current pedestrian and cycle access and allowing buses back in this area, other active travel funding and infrastructure, including the Connecting Sheffield and Future High Streets is jeopardised.

“These are important to improve public health and mitigate the climate emergency - that the council itself declared.”

But wheelchair user Tony Luxon and wife June, who are in their seventies, say they now face a 15-minute walk from a new bus stop on Arundel Gate to their opticians in Orchard Square.

Previously the Luxons, who live on Bellhouse Road, Firth Park, would alight on Leopold Street outside their destination.

Green councillor Martin Phipps said: “It’s a key street which is central to the vision for Sheffield city centre. Everyone wants this resolved quickly.”

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