Archer Lane Sheffield: Mercia School teacher slams reopening of rat-run as 'dangerous' for children
Archer Lane is due to be reopened to motor vehicles after a temporary closure
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A respected teacher from a Sheffield secondary school has slammed Sheffield City Council's decision to reopen Archer Lane, despite officers recommending it remain closed.
Protesters angry over the decision have claimed not one of the five schools in the area affected by the reopening were consulted.
Archer Lane has been reopened by the city council after a trial closure to traffic as part of the Nether Edge active travel neighbourhood trial, aimed at encouraging more people to walk or cycle rather than drive.
A review of the success of the plan resulted in the retention of pedestrian crossings at Osbourne Road close to Union Road and on Psalter Lane close to its junction with Stretton Road, and the reopening of Archer Lane.
John Crewe, Teacher of Science at Mercia School on Carter Knowle Road, Sheffield, told The Star "I saw it before the traffic measures came in and it was a lottery crossing that road because the cars are going so fast.
"You can start crossing the road on Archer Lane when there are no cars and by the time you get towards the other end, you are about to be hit by a car going 40mph."
The crossing Mr Crewe is referring to is the junction of Archer Lane and Bannerdale Road. In a letter written to local councillors, he said the decision to reopen Archer Lane filled him with "great disappointment" as he had seen the "positive change" brought about by the closure.
He wrote: "When Archer Lane was open, I witnessed everyday the approximately 200-300 pupils at Mercia school who walk along Archer Lane, struggle to cross Bannerdale road due to the constant flow of speeding cars racing down archer lane and turning left onto Bannerdale road at rush hour.
"This junction is extremely wide, and the commuters at this time are speeding. It’s a 20mph zone and nobody observes this. It is not possible to cross unless a driver gives way to the children, and very few do. This is very dangerous for our children."
Following the decision of the transport, regeneration and climate policy committee, Councillor Ben Miskell, the committee chair, said that road safety is a clear priority and the additional crossings introduced in the trial have been welcomed. He said that most of the people who replied to consultations on the effect of the road closure were negative about its perceived effect.
Residents in favour of keeping the restrictions have been out in force - hoping to revert the reversal and retain the closure of Archer Lane.
In his letter, Mr Crewe continued: "The councillor quoted in the press talked about some people's negative attitude towards the closure, these people may be vocal about their right to drive as fast as they want and wherever they please, but our children don’t have a voice...
"I’m extremely disappointed by this decision, and I wanted you to know that it will endanger children in our neighbourhood."
Sheffield City Council have been approached for a comment.