Busy road outside Sheffield schools to close during week-long trial

A busy road outside two Sheffield schools will close at drop-off and pick-up times next week, as part of a scheme which could be rolled out across the city.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th November 2019, 4:01 pm

No through traffic will be allowed on Bannerdale Road, between the junctions with Abbeydale Road and Carter Knowle Road, from Monday, November 18, until Friday, November 22, between 8.15am-9.15am and 2.45pm-3.45pm each day.

The School Streets pilot is designed to make it easier and safer for pupils to walk or cycle to Holt House Infant School and Carterknowle Junior School, as well as cleaning up the air they breathe each day.

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Traffic on Bannerdale Road in Sheffield, where School Streets closures are being piloted

Parents say children currently have to take their lives in their hands crossing the street, which is used as a ‘rat run’ by drivers avoiding congestion on Abbeydale Road.

School Streets closures have been introduced in many parts of the country and should trials in Sheffield prove successful they could become a permanent feature in the city.

Roads outside Watercliffe Meadow Community Primary School and Nether Edge Primary School were closed during the morning only for one day to mark Clean Air Day on June 20.

Holt House was one of five schools at which Sheffield Council announced earlier this month the scheme could be tested, in an attempt to promote safer, greener and healthier travel to school, and it is the first of those where it is being implemented.

Bannerdale Road in Sheffield, where School Streets closures are being piloted

Jenny Johnson, who is a parent governor at the Holt House and Carterknowle Schools Federation, said: “The section of road which is going to be closed is a bit of a rat run. It’s not just parents dropping their children off who are causing the problem. It’s also other drivers trying to avoid traffic into town on Abbeydale Road, especially in the morning.

“It’s not safe for children to cross because of the way people park and the amount of traffic.

“Hopefully this will encourage pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school so they get more fresh air, which is important because children spend a lot of time indoors these days.

“It should also help reduce pollution, and parents would love to see it made permanent.”

Barriers will be placed at either end of the closure, where staff from council contractor Amey will be posted to let residents and people with disabilities through, and the impact both on the street itself and on surrounding roads will be monitored during the week.

Kat Harrison, senior transport planner at the council, said this would be one of several School Streets trials taking place around the city and future plans would depend on how popular they prove with parents and residents.

“It’s about improving air quality, making the roads safer for children and increasing physical activity,” she said.

“Dangerous parking and traffic are a huge issue here and pupils are finding it really difficult to cross that road.

“We’ll monitor the impact of this and other trials, and then it will be up to councillors what happens next.”