Why did the zebra cross the road? To petition for a safe crossing on a Sheffield street

Campaigners dressed as zebras stood in protest alongside a dangerous road to urge Sheffield Council to put safety measures in place.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 11:44 am

They held placards that said “this zebra needs a crossing” and “sign our petition” on Abbey Lane in Ecclesall.

So far more than 5,000 people signed the petition for the crossing that was launched by the Friends of Ecclesall Woods.

Joining the protesters was councillor Barbara Masters representative for Ecclesall ward, who has been helping the community fight the issue for more than a year.

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Campaigners on Abbey Lane, Sheffield

While out at the protest, she said a girl of about seven years old on a bicycle gave a heartfelt plea saying she is terrified of crossing the road because the cars go so fast which is how many feel.

Coun Masters said: “Speeding traffic and the amount of traffic using Abbey Lane and Whirlowdale Road has increased quite considerably.

“I feel very, very strongly that something needs to be done here and not just here, if it is done here that hopefully means the same criteria can be used to implement changes elsewhere where there is equal need.

“With Covid and concerns about climate change and biodiversity loss, which are all intertwined, now is the time to do something – when people are receptive to change.”

Campaigners on Abbey Lane, Sheffield

Measures she hopes the council will take into consideration include lowering the speed limit, changing the criteria and putting a crossing in place.

Those who signed the petition left comments saying it is frightening crossing the road, that someone’s dog was run over there and it broke their heart and that measures would significantly improve many people’s lives and might save somebody’s.

One, Holly Smith-Williams said: “It’s treacherous trying to cross the road on Abbey lane. I usually cross dragging a barking dog and screaming kids. I’m probably screaming too. You literally take your life in your hands.”

Another, Sarah Thomas said: “Crossing here or watching others try to cross is desperate, it is an accident waiting to happen, it is stressful and unpleasant. Watching young families trying to scoot across sometimes with pushchairs and holding children’s hands is terrifying.”

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.