Community group hit out at Sheffield Council plans to widen ring road

A Kelham Island community group have hit out at Sheffield Council’s plans to widen the inner ring road.

Monday, 4th February 2019, 23:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:34 pm
Traffic on a busy road

The chairman of the Kelham Island and Neepsend Community Alliance has questioned council plans to ease congestion by widening the inner-city ring road, part of which runs by Kelham Island.

The plans will cost the council around £4.6 million with the aim of expanding the inner ring road from Shalesmoor to the Wicker from two lanes into three.

Sheffield Green Party have already criticised the council’s decision, saying the plans would increase air pollution and traffic around the area.

Kelham Island recently won the award for best neighbourhood at the 2019 Urbanism Awards.

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Chairman of KINCA, Ben Mcgarry, said: “We had a big community alliance meeting and the council came and addressed everybody because it wasn’t clear from their plans about what was going on.

“Our concerns were that the plan to create extra lanes between Kelham Island and the city centre is seen almost like a barrier between the city centre and Kelham Island.

“We don’t quite understand what advantage this would be, because generally these days if you want to ease congestion, the idea of adding extra lanes doesn’t actually do that, because you just get more cars.

“By the council’s own study, the advantage gained from having two lanes would actually disappear after five years because of the anticipated increase in traffic.”

The council's cabinet member for transport and development, councillor Jack Scott, said: “These plans include provision for an extra crossing into Kelham Island and will not have an adverse effect on air quality.

“I have set out ambitious plans to introduce a clean air zone on the inner ring road which will mean Kelham will be able to breath much cleaner air by next year.

“Focusing traffic onto the inner ring road is a key and long held part of our strategy to manage levels of motor traffic in the city centre which then allows the promotion of a pleasant city centre to support walking, cycling and access for public transport.”