Rush hour in Sheffield is worse and longer as city gets back to normal

Rush hour in Sheffield is back - and slightly worse than normal - new figures show.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 2:15 pm

At 8am on Monday, September 13 there was 55 per cent congestion, compared to just 33 per cent last year, during the pandemic.

The figure was even above 2019, when there was 51 per cent congestion at 8am on Monday September 13.

It is also interesting to note the congested period lasted longer than previous years.

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Congestion on Rockingham Street, Sheffield city centre. Pic by David Walsh.

At 9am the city had 56 per cent congestion, compared to just 20 per cent last year and 29 per cent in 2019.

The figures are from TomTom International BV. It says the measurement is how much longer - as a percentage - a trip would take compared to uncongested, free-flow travel.

Diane Jarvis, head of business operations at Sheffield Business Improvement District, said despite the figures the city’s office sector had not returned ‘in any great numbers’ yet possibly because government recommended a gradual return over the summer.

The latest footfall data indicated the city was up to 30 per cent down on 2019.

Dian Jarvis of Sheffield Bid.

She added “Now the schools are back, we’re hopeful this will change.”

But spending was approaching 2019 levels and research showed Sheffield was recovering more favourably compared to other cities.

She added: “It’s been an incredibly challenging 18 months, but it has been encouraging to see a livelier and busier city centre in recent weeks.

“The extensive Summer in The Outdoor City programme, combined with The Bears of Sheffield public art trail and other festivals, have given people a chance to visit and rediscover their city centre.

"The latest footfall data indicates that we are around 25-30 per cent down overall on the same period in 2019.

“Centre for Cities research indicates that Sheffield is recovering more favourably compared to a number of other cities, and we are seeing particularly strong growth across the weekend and night-time economies.

“Levels of spend are also up and approaching 2019 levels.

“Pre-pandemic, professionals working in the city made a huge contribution to both day and early evening economies. As the schools have now returned and we are set to welcome a new influx of students, we really do need to see the safe return of more office workers so our city centre can thrive.”

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.