Long awaited Sheffield pedestrian crossing has green light - at last

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PEDESTRIAN crossings are to be expanded at a busy Sheffield junction - three years after first being proposed.

The scheme for Broomhill, at the crossroads junction of Fulwood Road, Whitham Road, Nile Street and Crookes Road, is to be approved at a meeting of Sheffield Council’s cabinet highways committee tomorrow.

Council highways officers said the scheme, first proposed in 2010 and which could cost up to £500,000, had been on hold due to lack of funding - but there was now ‘an opportunity to obtain better value for money’ by combining the work with resurfacing and replacement of traffic lights in the area under the £2 billion Streets Ahead programme.

The plans involve adding pedestrian crossings on the Fulwood Road, Whitham Road and Crookes Road sides of the junction - which currently has a pedestrian crossing only on Nile Street.

Work would involve changes to the junction layout to incorporate a slip road for left turners from Fulwood Road into Crookes Road, and building a pedestrian ‘island’.

The change is needed so the left turn has its own phase - otherwise left-turning traffic would come across with the ‘green man’ phase on Crookes Road. And having a full pedestrian phase for all four sides of the junction would cause unacceptable traffic delays, highways officers believe.

The plan involves loss of two parking spaces - but the council said it would ‘have the least impact on traffic flows’ and be the ‘best compromise’ between providing better pedestrian crossings and keeping traffic moving.

Sheffield Council said changes to the junction are needed to reduce accident risk, with 18 pedestrians hurt in the last 10 years, four of them seriously.

Despite the lack of pedestrian crossings, 5,000 people cross the junction on the Crookes Road side, and 700 people cross the Fulwood Road side - despite there being a pedestrian crossing about 50 yards down Fulwood Road.

Tens of thousands of vehicles use the junction, including 100 an hour turning left from Fulwood Road into Crookes Road. The council said banning the turn to make the crossing changes cheaper would cause the traffic to use residential streets instead.

Of 248 people who answered questionnaires sent to 1,400 addresses, 62 per cent backed the council’s proposal.