Archer Lane: Objectors oppose Sheffield road reopening over road safety fears
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The city council’s transport, regeneration and climate policy committee decided last month to reopen Archer Lane, which had been temporarily closed to vehicles as part of the Nether Edge active travel neighbourhood project.
A review of the success of the plan resulted in the retention of pedestrian crossings at Osbourne Road close to Union Road and on Psalter Lane close to its junction with Stretton Road, and the reopening of Archer Lane.
That decision was criticised at a meeting of the full council last week (October 4).
Christina Reece, who lives nearby on Nether Edge Road, said she is worried about the safety of children who walk or cycle or walk to the bus stop to travel to five schools including Holt House and Carterknowle primaries, Mercia, High Storrs and King Edward VII secondaries.
She said: “If Archer Lane reopens there will be no time for children to adjust and learn the extremely hazardous crossings at every junction.”
She also pointed out that Mercia School currently has 900 students but she understands that may rise to 1,200 by 2026.
Coun Ben Miskell, who chairs the committee that made the decision, replied that road safety is a clear priority and the additional crossings introduced in the trial have been welcomed. He said that most of the people who replied to consultations on the effect of the road closure were negative about its perceived effect.
“The information available to date does not suggest that the Nether Edge active travel neighbourhood project has had a significant impact on personal injury collisions. All but one of the pedestrian or cyclist casualties are on Abbeydale Road, not Archer Lane.”
Simon Sylvester, a resident of Archer Lane, said that when he watched a webcast of the committee meeting he felt that members had prioritised information supplied by party colleagues over the council’s own commissioned research.
Coun Miskell said it was right that members should take into account officers’ advice as well as listening to important community voices and correspondence they receive, including a range of views from residents and businesses.
“When the people of Nether Edge were asked about the perceived safety for walkers and cyclists, their responses were really quite varied,” Coun Miskell said. “More responses said that had been a negative perception of safety of walkers and cyclists.”