Anger over climate protesters' plan to block rush-hour traffic on busy Sheffield roundabout

A plan by climate change campaigners to block traffic close to Sheffield city centre has sparked protests from Star readers.

Friday, 30th August 2019, 11:46 am

Members of Extinction Rebellion Sheffield will 'disrupt roads' around the Bridgehouses Roundabout that connects Derek Dooley Way to Corporation Street in Kelham Island on Monday, September 9, at 8am.

In March, tensions rose between frustrated motorists and members of the group who blocked traffic on the crossing outside Sheffield railway station on Sheaf Street.

Protesters are set to block the roads around this roundabout.

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The move has led to a lot of people expressing their views on Facebook.

Adam Durrans said: "I actually totally respect what they are campaigning for but making the everyday person on there way to work pay for it by sitting in the traffic isn't fair.

"They should do their protests by all means, but do it somewhere effective.

"I'm sure all of us would happily drive electric cars if we could afford them and if they were reliable."

Paul Hanks added: "I am just worried about how much extra pollution their traffic chaos will create."

James Hindle expressed concern that emergency services vehicles may not be able to pass if the road is blocked.

He added: "I understand why they do what they do but I don’t think taking it out on everyday people trying to get on with their days is the best way to go about it."

In a statement, Extinction Rebellion Sheffield said: “Sheffield City Council has declared a climate emergency and launched various consultations.

"At the same time they are forging ahead with plans to widen the ring road. This condemns our children to more air pollution and our world to more vehicular carbon emissions. Extinction Rebellion Sheffield will not allow our council to force us into an extinction dead end."

The planned protest comes as a £4.6 million scheme to reduce congestion by widening the inner ring road continues.

Sheffield City Council went ahead with its plan to widen Derek Dooley Way between Corporation Street and Saville Street despite concerns from dozens of residents.

After issues were raised about increasing pollution and traffic, the decision was called in for scrutiny and it was discussed at an economic and environmental wellbeing scrutiny meeting where about a dozen residents came to ask questions.

After two hours of scrutiny, it was decided that the plans would go ahead but with a closer eye on its progress.

The council said both traffic congestion and journey times on the Inner Ring Road were increasing, particularly during the morning and evening peak hours.

Extinction Rebellion members claimed the road widening plan 'undermines their (the council's) declaration of a climate emergency and will increase air pollution and climate emissions.'