Inner ring road – not fit for purpose

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With the latest phase of rail replacement work on the tram network under way in Sheffield city centre it has become very noticeable that the city’s inner ring road is simply “not fit for purpose”.

This is not the first time I have written those exact words about the inner ring road, having commented online at The Star’s website a couple of years ago.

Sadly, nothing has improved to assist traffic flows and the tram rail replacement works are currently causing mayhem at the Netherthorpe Road/Shalesmoor junction when the tram short turns at the Hoyle Street priority junction.

The knock-on effect of this spreads eastwards to Corporation Street roundabout (which has never worked successfully). Furthermore, at peak hours those wishing to exit the City (either via Savile Street or the Sheffield Parkway) are caught in long queues backing up Corporation Street to Tenter Street and even further up the hill towards University Roundabout on Broad Lane.

The need to replace the tram rails after 20 years is understandable. However, the lack of vision by transport planners and their lackadaisical attitude to conquering the congestion caused by long-term bottlenecks such as University Roundabout, Corporation Street Roundabout and other key junctions on the inner ring road are a real barrier to attracting further inward investment to the city centre, especially when coupled with the fiasco of the Sevenstone project.

The Motorists’ Forum (of which I was a member until its demise due to austerity cuts) frequently flagged issues with the inner ring road, including traffic light timings, junctions, crossings and lane markings.

I, along with other motorists, asked for the city council to explore ways to improve key junctions and especially University Roundabout which has surely reached a new low with the closure of Clarkson Street by the Children’s Hospital.

Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians all deserve far better.

Public transport alternatives are doing what they can to relieve congestion but for many a car, van, moped or motorbike is a necessity for their commute.

Our road infrastructure must be better and we have wasted years doing nothing to rectify things for a time like today when the UK economy is buoyant.

Sheffield should be going from strength to strength rather than blaming everyone else for so many of the problems we face as a city.

It is surely the job of those elected to serve on the council and those employed by them to rectify the situation and source the necessary monies required to make the necessary changes rather than burying their head in the sand and blaming anyone and everyone else for the catastrophe of an inner ring road that we have today.

Robert Prior

Marlborough Road, S10