Sheffield Council to permanently pedestrianise parking spaces in shopping precinct
and live on Freeview channel 276
The authority removed 11 parking spaces, leaving two disabled bays, to increase space for pedestrians at the Broomhill shopping precinct to enable social distancing at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
There was immediate backlash from residents and businesses including a petition by Williamson Hardware that gathered more than 1,300 signatures saying the loss of parking would be “devastating” to trade and calling for it to be returned.
Despite this, the council kept the measure in place and now plans to make it permanent, saying the benefits outweigh the concerns.
In a report outlining its plans, officers claimed there was a 14 per cent reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels in the area since the changes.
They said: “Before the intervention was implemented, there were a few issues with the public space at the Broomhill shopping precinct.
“Cars were often queuing along the A57 to pull into the parking bays causing congestion. Safety was also a concern insofar as cars were also reversing out into the main road out of the parking bays and, in addition to this, there were also issues around the narrow pavement adjacent to the parking bays. This led to pedestrians often walking down the middle of the road.
“These enhancements could lead to more people visiting Broomhill and staying for longer.”
Following initial backlash the authority undertook an informal survey to ‘clarify the sentiment’ towards the changes which received 869 responses – 77 per cent of which called for the parking to be put back.
It then made an experimental traffic regulation order to “properly test” the merits of the scheme.
A formal consultation to this order received only two responses, both objecting and raising concerns about the loss of parking and the impact of that on businesses.
Council officers said the nine lost parking spaces were absorbed by the wider area and members of the Broomhill, Broomfield, Endcliffe, Summerfield and Tapton neighbourhood forum were supportive of the plans to make the changes permanent.