Editor: Give us drastic action and stop ignoring real problem

Put on your tin-hats… another row about how best to help people move around our city is on the way.

By Nancy Fielder
Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 6:37 am
A Sheffield bus driver pictured in 1967
A Sheffield bus driver pictured in 1967

We’re all agreed that there are too many people using too many cars and that our roads – not to mention our lungs and our planet – can’t cope.

We all want Sheffield to be a safe haven for cyclists, even if we don’t wish to hop on a bicycle ourselves.

None of us wish to spend more money than necessary on getting about but we also have to get places too quickly or too far for us to do that on foot.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Then there is the thorny issue of public transport which we are all agreed is rubbish, and I’m choosing my words carefully for this family newspaper. So here we go again. Another road closure and, no doubt, anger on both sides.

It is so painfully predictable it almost makes you feel sorry for those in charge of roads in this region… almost.

On this particular occasion, I have to agree with the proposal set out on page 11 that this particular junction should be closed to traffic.

It’s open to cars in both directions and is a nightmare for everyone whether in a vehicle or not.

It is dangerous, there is no disputing that. However, we must also listen to those who argue that closing it will simply move the danger, in the form of even more excessive traffic, elsewhere. Again, I have to agree because changes like this simply do not force us out of our cars. They annoy drivers, they create arguments and they let our dirty, overpriced, unreliable buses chuff off – irregularly – into the sunset scott free again.

That is the route of the problem and until our politicians sort out the crisis with our public transport, everything else they do is laughable and utterly pointless.

While changing that junction is no doubt a good thing and could prevent future accidents, I don’t think one single person will get back on their bike because of it.

Cyclists in this city need far more drastic action – they need to see a whole rethink of our roads and priorities and, yes, giving us a brilliant public transport system would help those on both two and four wheels. Those who control (or could if they chose to) our public transport must be radical – or quit.