Eco-protesters set to block busy Sheffield roundabout this morning
Traffic is set to come to a standstill at a major roundabout in Sheffield this morning as climate change protesters have vowed to block the roads.
Members of Extinction Rebellion Sheffield will 'disrupt roads' around the Bridgehouses Roundabout that connects Derek Dooley Way to Corporation Street in Kelham Island at 8am.
The morning of action is set to cause rush-hour delays for motorists and it comes after tensions rose between frustrated motorists and members of the group who blocked traffic on the crossing outside Sheffield railway station on Sheaf Street in March.
In a statement, Extinction Rebellion Sheffield said: “Sheffield City Council has declared a climate emergency and launched various consultations.
"At the same time they are forging ahead with plans to widen the ring road. This condemns our children to more air pollution and our world to more vehicular carbon emissions. Extinction Rebellion Sheffield will not allow our council to force us into an extinction dead end."
The planned protest comes as a £4.6 million scheme to reduce congestion by widening the inner ring road continues.
Extinction Rebellion has written to the authority demanding a halt to the scheme as 'this brings more cars into the city, condemning our children to more air pollution and our world to more vehicular carbon emissions, worsening the pollution issues in a city where 500 deaths each year are linked to air quality'.
They did add that they 'regret that this will cause inconvenience to people in Sheffield.'
Sheffield City Council went ahead with its plan to widen Derek Dooley Way between Corporation Street and Saville Street despite concerns from dozens of residents.
After issues were raised about increasing pollution and traffic, the decision was called in for scrutiny and it was discussed at an economic and environmental wellbeing scrutiny meeting where about a dozen residents came to ask questions.
After two hours of scrutiny, it was decided that the plans would go ahead but with a closer eye on its progress.
The council said both traffic congestion and journey times on the Inner Ring Road were increasing, particularly during the morning and evening peak hours.
Extinction Rebellion members claimed the road widening plan 'undermines their (the council's) declaration of a climate emergency and will increase air pollution and climate emissions.'