Parking ban on Ecclesall and Abbeydale roads in Sheffield - Greens defend plans as petition tops 5,000

The Green Party has defended plans for a parking ban on two of Sheffield’s busiest roads, after more than 5,000 people signed a petition opposing them.

By David Walsh
Monday, 13th December 2021, 4:17 pm

Party member Jason Leman says all-day bus lanes have worked well in other parts of the city. And ‘it would be great to get to local shops and cafes with less congestion and pollution’.

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Green Party member Jason Leman says all-day bus lanes have worked well to help buses run smoother in other parts of the city. And 'it would be great to get to local shops and cafes with less congestion and pollution'.

WHAT IS THE CITY COUNCIL PROPOSING AND WHY?

Sheffield City Council is proposing 12-hour bus lanes from 7am—7pm weekdays on Ecclesall Road and Abbeydale Road, enforced by strict London-style ‘Red Routes’ which ban almost all other vehicles from stopping, waiting or loading, to combat climate change and boost active travel.

Mr Leman said Sheffield Green Party saw it as an opportunity to find out what kind of city people want to live in and how we can get there.

WHY DO THE GREENS THINK ITS A GOOD IDEA?

Green light priority for buses would apply at every junction for five miles from the bottom of The Moor up Ecclesall Road to Abbey Lane and 3.7 miles along Abbeydale Road to Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet in Beauchief.

In a letter to The Star, also posted on the party’s website, he states: “Abbeydale Road and Ecclesall Road are now often overloaded with traffic. If we can still get to local shops and cafes, then won’t it be great to have a way of doing this with less congestion and less pollution?

“Any individual or family who owns a car makes a decision about whether they go by car every time they make a journey.

“Cars are very convenient, but they take up space on the road, create pollution and dangers to others, and need a parking space at the other end.

From left: Jill Cade, Jackie Grainger and Melissa Wilde of The Hairband on Ecclesall Road.

“Each individual or family who can shift to walking, cycling, or using the bus for a journey helps everyone.

“Smoother running buses would help people make that change. They would also benefit the 75,000 households in Sheffield who don’t have a car.

“All-day bus lanes have worked well in other parts of the city to help buses run smoother, so could be the right solution for Abbeydale Road and Ecclesall Road.

Traffic lights on Ecclesall Road could be reprogrammed to turn green when a bus approaches at 20 lights for five miles from the city centre to the suburbs.

“Whatever your views on this plan, we need to talk about how we get to a better Sheffield. A city with less congestion and cleaner air.

“A city with local shopping and leisure areas that are pleasant and good to walk around. A city where it’s easier to get around by public transport, bicycle and on-foot. Obviously, it is important that access needs for all are fully considered.”

WHO HAS OBJECTED AND WHY?

The proposals, revealed in The Star last month, have sparked objections from businesses.

Melissa Wilde, manager of the Hairband hairdressers on Ecclesall Road, started a petition which has attracted soem 5,300 signatures.

In it she states: “After facing an extremely difficult two years due to the Covid pandemic these plans will be detrimental to the livelihood of many shops, salons, cafes etc. on Ecclesall & Abbeydale road and surrounding areas. the lack of footfall will inevitably force job losses and business closures of many independent and local businesses.”

The proposals are part of the £55m Connecting Sheffield scheme which aims to help people switch to walking, cycling or using public transport, ‘particularly when commuting to work’ to combat climate change and improve health.

Sheffield City Council aims to be ‘carbon zero’ by 2030.

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