Plan to pedestrianise large parts of Sheffield city centre divides opinion among shoppers

Shoppers in Sheffield have had their say on a council scheme to pedestrianise large parts of the city centre.

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 7:00 am

Sheffield Council are proposing to permanently ban cars and buses from a number of city centre roads including Pinstone Street and Leopold Street.

The scheme, dubbed Connecting Sheffield, would also see seating, plants and trees installed in place of bus stops and parking spaces.

In the city centre on Tuesday, opinions were mixed on the scheme, with some broadly in favour of the proposals and others very much against.

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Pinstone Street in the city centre will be pedestrianised under plans from Sheffield Council.

John Marsden, from Grenoside, said he thought it was a good idea provided they made it easy for cars to access the outskirts of the city centre.

He said: “I have no problem with the centre of Sheffield being pedestrianised - I think it would be lovely and quiet and would encourage shopping.

“But you’ve got to be able to get to places like Moorfoot a bit more easily than you can at the moment.”

Pia Jones, who is originally from Slovenia but now lives in Handsworth, said she would feel safer walking with her children in the city centre if there was more pedestrianisation.

Anne Butcher and Janice Morton.

“All the city centres in Europe do not have cars in them,” she said. “I always walk with kids and crossing is difficult.”

Anne Butcher and Janice Morton both said they weren’t in principle against the move but added that thought needed to be given to blue badge holders or people who couldn’t walk a long way.

Janice said: “I just went to Marks and Spencers and bought some tins of biscuits and it is too heavy to carry all the way round town. People would need somewhere on the outside of the city centre to park their cars.”

And Sylvia Parker, from Woodseats, said she thought the Pinstone Street scheme had worked well so far, as had a similar one on Division Street.

Mr and Mrs Middleton, from Wybourn, in Sheffield city centre.

She said: “We’ve already done it so I can’t see why it can’t carry on. As long as buses will still be able to get to High Street I think this section with trees would be lovely.”

But other shoppers described the proposed changes as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘over the top’.

Mr Middleton, from Wybourn, said the changes brought in so far meant he and his wife now struggled to get around the city centre and he was also worried that they could hurt city centre shops.

He said: “If they pedestrianise it and the shops shut down, somewhere to sit isn’t going to be much good is it?

“And who will want to sit out at this time of the year?”

And Alison Royles, from Walkley, also said they had been ‘really inconvenient’

“I used to like it when it stopped on Leopold Street so you were nearer to the shops on High Street,” she said.

“It is supposed to be a shopping area. I come to town to shop and if I want to sit around I’ll go to the park.”

A consultation on the proposed changes which runs until January 7 can be accessed at https://connectingsheffield.commonplace.is.

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.