Climate campaigners reveal which Sheffield road they will target at fresh protest next month

Climate campaigners Extinction Rebellion Sheffield reveal which city road they will target during a new protest planned for next month.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 17:25 pm
Updated Friday, 30th August 2019, 16:06 pm

The group say they will disrupt roads around the Bridgehouses Roundabout on Derek Dooley Way on Monday, September 9 at 8am in protest at Sheffield Council's plans to widen the ring road.

They claim the widening will inevitably attract more cars into the city, bringing with them more air pollution and carbon emissions, affecting people's health and further damaging the climate.

Roadworks on Derek Dooley Way. Picture Scott Merrylees

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Announcing the planned action, Extinction Rebellion Sheffield spokesperson Sophie Armour said: "This road widening scheme makes a mockery of the council's declaration of a climate emergency.

"It will increase noise, toxic air pollution and climate-wrecking CO2 emissions.

"This peaceful protest is about drawing attention to the council's hypocrisy and forcing them to cancel plans to widen the ring road, and invest in improving public transport instead."

The Council's £4.6m plan to widen part of Sheffield's inner ring road began earlier this year and will be completed by next summer.

When complete, the scheme will widen Derek Dooley Way between Coporation Street and Saville Street, a section that was notorious for congestion at peak hours, they said.

At the time it was approved, the Council defended the decision as a necessary one to accomodate the increased vehcile traffic that future economic growth woud bring.

It said: “One of the worst sections is between Sheffield Parkway and Penistone Road. This section needs more road capacity and improvements to the operation and layout of the signal junctions.

“This will allow increased traffic generated by future growth in the city centre and its economy to be accommodated.”

The plan was opposed by residents and councillors, however, with city councillor Douglas Johnson saying it was based more on belief rather than evidence.

But Councillor Jack Scott, the then cabinet member for transport, disagreed, saying the scheme would improve bus times and make it safer for pedestrians.

He said: "The stark challenges we face in our city cannot be avoided…but a scheme that improves bus times and makes it safer for pedestrians is absolutely what we should be doing.”