Active Travel Neighbourhoods Shefield: Warning for vandals after planter blocking road is tipped over again

Vandals who keep tipping over planters blocking roads in Sheffield have been issued with a health warning.

By Robert Cumber
Monday, 13th June 2022, 1:57 pm

Large planters have been placed on streets around Nether Edge and Crookes to close them to motor vehicles on a six-month trial basis, as part of the Active Travel Neighbourhood schemes designed to get more people walking and cycling in the two suburbs.

But the planters have been repeatedly targeted by vandals – presumably frustrated motorists – who have moved them or tipped them over, creating a mess and setting back the initiative.

The destruction has been so persistent that planters on some streets are being replaced with concrete barriers.

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This planter being used to block the road at the junction of Leamington Street and Townend Street, as part of the Active Travel Neighbourhood scheme in Crookes, Sheffield, was tipped over on Saturday morning (pic: Brett Hull)

This latest example happened in Crookes on Saturday morning, at the junction of Leamington Street and Townend Street, and the photo was shared with Maroof Raouf, Green Party councillor for Nether Edge and Sharrow.

Asked what his message to those responsible was, he joked: “I want to wish them well in case they suffer any lower back damage.”

In a more serious vein, he added: “I would heavily advise they don’t continue. If people are not happy, they need to use the appropriate avenues to feed back their views to their councillors and the council officers.

“It’s important to remind people that this is an ongoing consultation and if the feedback is that people aren't happy then obviously we as councillors and also the officers need to take that into account.”

Coun Raouf said he was aware of some criticism of the measures on social media but it was important that all feedback was shared with the council so the impact could be properly assessed.

He told how the majority of the feedback he’d had so far via email was in support of the closures.

But he claimed there was a misconception among some people that it was all about the handful of roads which have been blocked off, when those closures were actually reducing the volume of traffic on many more connecting streets which have traditionally been used as cut-throughs by drivers.

Coun Raouf said the early evidence was that the measures had encouraged more people to walk or cycle, as intended, though it would only be possible to judge the true impact once the low traffic neighbourhood schemes had been given time to ‘bed-in’.

And he insisted that people needed to ‘be honest’ about the impact, questioning claims from some people that what used to be a two-minute journey by car was now taking them 30 minutes.