Parking ban on Ecclesall Road and Abbeydale Road in Sheffield moves closer with £3.8m bid
Controversial plans to ban parking on two major roads in Sheffield have moved a step closer with a bid for £3.8m.
Sheffield City Council is asking the South Yorkshire mayor’s office to fund changes to bus lanes, bus stops, junctions, parking restrictions and crossings on Ecclesall and Abbeydale Roads and upgrade traffic lights to give buses priority.
The aim is to radically improve services and create ‘a better quality environment for passengers and pedestrians’ to improve health, cut car use and combat climate change.
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The proposals include a 7am-7pm parking ban, enforced by strict London-style ‘red routes’ – which prevent almost all vehicles from stopping, waiting or loading – that have been loudly opposed by some who fear it would damage businesses.
A mayoral paper states ‘completion’ would be by December 2023.
But Coun Mazher Iqbal, co-chair of transport, regeneration and climate policy committee, stressed the money was to only develop the proposals and there would be further consultation.
He said: “The money will not be spent on any physical work at this point, or any changes to the operation of the highway. It is only to be used to develop the proposals, which will include further investigation into the largely positive comments around junction improvements, bus stop enhancements and better use of technology along the two routes.
“We have been clear about the need for further consultation on the proposals, specifically in relation to changes to the bus lanes and enforcement.
“Conversations with the general public and the business community around the extended bus lane hours and red routes will be a very important part of our considerations, especially in light of the disgraceful news that our bus services stand to be reduced by a third.”
Public transport was essential and they were doing ‘all we can’ to make journeys by public transport, walking and cycling ‘quicker and more efficient’, he added.
Some 3,456 people responded to a survey on the scheme, with 48 per cent negative, 39 per cent positive and 13 per cent neutral.
More than 6,950 people have signed a petition against the proposals. A Facebook Group called ‘Say No To Red Lines’ for ‘local business owners and concerned parties’ has 1,400 members.