Opinion: Sheffield Council needs to quit stalling and accelerate its decision about Pinstone Street

Pinstone Street will remain closed indefinitely to traffic, said a senior councillor on Tuesday.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 4:47 pm

No, we’re still considering options and it may reopen to traffic, said the director of city centre development Nalin Seneviratne in a report on Wednesday.

For all our sanity, please just make a decision, said Sheffield residents on Thursday.

The saga of whether to reopen this major city centre road is rumbling on, seemingly with no end in sight.

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Pinstone Street.

When I was told by a senior councillor that it would remain closed indefinitely, there was relief that finally a decision had been made.

But just 24 hours later, a council report says all options are still being considered. And there needs to be a further report.

Why? What more can possibly be said? The council knows it’s controversial – some businesses are unhappy claiming a loss in trade.

Bus passengers are unhappy because 36 services have been diverted and some people have to walk further and are struggling.

Cyclists are happy, saying it makes the area safer and more pleasant. The city centre residents association is happy with less air pollution and nicer open space.

There needs to be a final decision. Because while this is a key part of the city centre, there are some really serious citywide issues looming in the rearview mirror.

The Local Plan has been delayed – yet again – leaving the city without any planning policies which the council’s own officers say is a risk.

There’s an overspend on the council budget of £44m with officers warning without Government support, the council won’t be able to set a balanced budget in future.

Social care has left a gaping hole in the council’s budget and the announcement by the Government of extra funding will go to the NHS – it won’t benefit the council.

Home care employees are burnt out from working through the pandemic while agencies are struggling to recruit and “employing almost any staff they can”.

As a city, and individually, we are recovering from a pandemic.

Reopen Pinstone Street to traffic or keep it closed. Just don’t stand on the amber light dithering.