Controversial Sheffield active travel neighbourhood road changes made permanent

Road changes made as part of plans for two Sheffield active travel neighbourhoods have been approved by councillors, although the closure of Archer Lane has been reversed.
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A meeting of Sheffield City Council’s transport, regeneration and climate policy committee (September 20) agreed to confirm experimental measures put in place for the active travel neighbourhoods (ATNs) in Crookes and Walkley and Nether Edge, which have provoked controversy.

LibDem and Labour councillors joined forces to amend the Nether Edge ATN to reopen Archer Lane to traffic. The move was opposed by the two Green councillors on the committee and LibDem Coun Richard Shaw abstained.

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The meeting also unanimously approved to make temporary road changes implemented for the Sheaf Valley Cycle Route permanent (see separate story). This includes the closure of Little London Road to motor vehicles.

Sheffield City Council active travel neighbourhood barriers in Townend Road, Crookes, Sheffield. Picture: Sheffield CouncilSheffield City Council active travel neighbourhood barriers in Townend Road, Crookes, Sheffield. Picture: Sheffield Council
Sheffield City Council active travel neighbourhood barriers in Townend Road, Crookes, Sheffield. Picture: Sheffield Council

Coun Andrew Sangar said that lessons have to be learned for the way that ATN consultations take place, with council officers talking to residents and ward councillors about what changes they think are important, rather than presenting people with a ready-made plan.

He called the process in Crookes and Walkley “a painful journey”. The committee heard from officers that it was hard to fully assess the impact of changes as not all were in place all the time.

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Parts of the scheme such as barriers on the Springvale junctions with Western Road and Cobden View Road were removed after complaints from residents and ward councillors.

Walkley, Sheffield, where an active travel neighbourhood has now been made permanent by Sheffield City Council. Picture: LDRSWalkley, Sheffield, where an active travel neighbourhood has now been made permanent by Sheffield City Council. Picture: LDRS
Walkley, Sheffield, where an active travel neighbourhood has now been made permanent by Sheffield City Council. Picture: LDRS
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The proposal to reopen Archer Lane in the Nether Edge ATN brought an angry response from Green councillors.

Coun Sangar said the Archer Lane closure had been “very divisive” and he couldn’t honestly say it should be permanent. He put forward the amendment to reverse it, which was seconded by Labour Coun David Barker.

Green Coun Ruth Mersereau said that children are never consulted on schemes. She added: “They are the ones that lost their play space, their freedom to walk or pedal or cycle safely and their chance to socialise with friends”.

Green councillor and committee deputy chair Coun Christine Gilligan Kubo said: “I think it’s a regressive move. I have never had such a big postbag as on this scheme – 90 per cent want to keep Archer Lane closed to traffic.”

She said that many people told her how they had seen the quality of their lives improve as a result.

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The council says that new permanent ATNs include the following:

Crookes

  • Changes to vehicle access on parts of Hands Road and Newent Lane
  • School Streets – prohibition of vehicles except authorised and permit holders at Westways Primary School affecting Mona Avenue and Mona Road during school drop off and pick up times
  • No waiting at any time on parts of Cobden Place, Cobden View Road, Hands Road, Leamington Street, Matlock Road, Melbourn Road, Mona Avenue, Pickmere Road, Romsdal Road, Sackville Road, Slinn Street, Townend Street and Warwick Terrace
  • No waiting Mon-Fri 9am-5pm on part of Western Road
  • Amendment to permit holder parking places on Crookesmoor Road

Walkley

  • Changes to vehicle access on parts of Fir Street, Highton Street and Matlock Road
  • One way on parts of Greenhow Street and Heavygate Avenue
  • No waiting at any time on Camm Street, Greenhow Street, Heavygate Avenue, Highton Street, Matlock Road
  • Temporary pedestrian crossings at Heavygate Road, Crookesmoor Road and Crookes (near School Road)

Nether Edge

  • Archer Lane to be reopened
  • Pedestrian crossings at Osbourne Road close to Union Road, and on Psalter Lane close to its junction with Stretton Road