Sheffield braced for trafffic gridlock this weekend as student return clashes with football match
Sheffield is bracing itself for potential road gridlock – with thousands of students set to descend on the city for the new term this weekend.
University of Sheffield students are expected to pour into the city centre en masse on Saturday and Sunday for the start of the new academic year’s intro week which gets under way on September 21.
Their arrival in 2019, the year before the pandemic started, brought the city to a standstill with huge traffic jams in and around the city centre.
Several buses were diverted as a result of a higher than usual volumes of traffic on roads around the city centre, with St Mary’s Gate and Cemetery Road reported as being badly affected.
The number 56 was diverted around the congestion via Ecclesall Road and the number 25 was diverted via London Road two years ago
The number 24 was also affected in 2019 by Granville Square being blocked while the number 120 had to turn around at the bus station.
And the influx of university students this year coincides with with Sheffield Wednesday’s match against Shrewsbury today, which is also expected to bring traffic to the roads in the afternoon.
The arrival of students in 2018 clogged up city centre streets – with delays of up to two hours for drivers as the influx coincided with a Sheffield United match at Bramall Lane.
Sheffield Council says it is planning for a busy weekend andworking with the city’s universities and South Yorkshire Police to make sure the return of students to the city goes as smoothly as possible, but that it will be a busy weekend and congestion is expected.
Officials say they are aware of the hotspots and will be monitoring these closely. Traffic control will be in place on Saturday and Sunday to help manage busy times and hotspots, and keep traffic flowing as easily as possible.
Other public organisations such as the bus companies and other travel organisations, as well as the police and the uiversities, will also be sharing information throughout the weekend to support work to keep the roads moving
But the authority says people travelling into or through Sheffield, attending the football match or other events across the weekend are advised to plan ahead and allow extra journey time.