Editor: Crisis with cars is everywhere but worst outside our schools

We need to drive less, we need to have fewer cars on the road and we need to use less petrol.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 6:44 am
How do we make our roads safer?

Sheffield has a critical problem with traffic that slows the city down, increases anger and sees us sat in metal boxes pumping poisons into the air.

Our roads are dangerous, not only to our health in the long run but to pedestrians and children.

There are dozens of schools in this city which have far too many cars on the road, making the simple of act of getting to school a real risk.

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On today’s front page you will have read the unimaginable horror of a mum dying on her way to collect her child from school.

Whatever the circumstances in that particular instance, we all know that there are far too many near misses each day.

There are just a handful of lollipop men and women these days, the number of cars on the roads is increasing and I see absolutely no seriously solutions being put forward in this city to solve what should be seen as a crisis.

My youngest son’s school is one of those which has closed the road immediately outside the building for a short time while children arrive and leave.

It means there is less pollution on the classroom doorsteps but it certainly has not solved the problem.

Have parents got out of their car? No, they just park slightly further away causing chaos on what could easily be deemed as more dangerous roads.

How do we get people out of their cars?

Well, I believe public transport is the answer.

Make it cheap, make it reliable and make it attractive. Extend Supertram, I hear you say. Bring back buses which serve the city rather than being designed for profit.

Yet that won’t stop the problems outside schools. We need a massive change of mindset and we need leadership that not only shows why we should make things different but makes it feel like a positive thing to do.

If we won’t make simple changes to save children’s – including our own – lives, what on earth will make us see things differently?

Speedbumps, traffic wardens, lollipop ladies, petitions, campaigns, speed restrictions. This city needs to do whatever it takes – and fast.