New pedestrian route could cause hold-ups

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ALMOST 2,000 motorists are set to suffer extra delays in the morning rush hour under plans to create a new pedestrian crossing on Sheffield’s inner ring road.

But members of Sheffield Council’s cabinet highways committee have been recommended to approve the scheme on Derek Dooley Way, which would allow workers at the Capita Hartshead office building, at the junction with Sheffield Parkway, to cross to the city centre.

Officers say the safety benefits of the traffic light-controlled crossing, which would be funded by Capita Hartshead, ‘outweigh’ the delays to motorists.

The plans are proposed despite an existing pedestrian crossing which lies just couple of hundred yards downhill at the junction of Derek Dooley Way and Furnival Road.

The existing crossing is within walking distance - but the council said the footpath to reach it is narrow.

Ian Wheeldon, of Sheffield Council’s highways department, said officers would ‘closely monitor’ the new signals and ‘make any adjustments to ensure the impact on traffic flow is minimised’.

However he revealed the council’s own computerised traffic modelling showed the crossing could cause an increase of 12 to 13 per cent in traffic delays for the 1,900 vehicles using Derek Dooley Way from Bridgehouses to Sheffield Parkway and Park Square during the morning peak between 8am and 9am.

There is set to be a one per cent increase in delays for the 2,200 vehicles heading in the same direction during the evenings between 5pm and 6pm.

Mr Wheeldon said the extra delay could add up to 15 seconds per journey.

The council predicts no delays in the opposite direction because the new signals will be synchronised with other traffic lights.

The crossing is set to be approved on Thursday.