Sheffield roads: 20 road safety schemes could progress this year to combat traffic accidents
Schemes including crossing projects and 20mph zones are in the pipeline across the city after a spate of road deaths, says Sheffield Council.
After four deaths during a grim month on the city’s roads, the authority has revealed the schemes it wants to roll out over the next year, but warns there could be delays.
Rita Magni died after being struck by a car on Phillimore Road, Darnall this month. The previous morning, 23-year-old Junaid Latif died after a crash on Moore Street, near the inner ring road. Less than two weeks earlier, a pedestrian died after a collision on Prospect Road, Lowfield. And another pedestrian died on September 21 after a collision on Regent Street near the city centre.
The list of projects includes putting a crossing on Sheaf Street, improving dangerous junctions, and more than a dozen projects to create 20mph zones.
But officials are warning some projects could face delays because of problems getting hold of materials.
Despite the plans, a Sheffield Council spokeswoman said the authority was already aware of supply chain issues with signing poles which may delay the 20mph schemes.
Among the high profile schemes the council is looking to bring in is the Bridge Hill Accident Reduction Scheme in Oughtibridge, a project officials hope to complete this financial year.
Six people seriously injured
Council officers say there have been a number of incidents involving people using motorcycles and bicycles on Orchard Street, Oughtibridge, being hit by people driving out of Bridge Hill onto Station Lane without giving way. In the last five years three people on motorcycles and six on bicycles have been injured, six seriously.
After consultation they concluded the only practical way to reduce collisions there was to close Bridge Hill to motor vehicles at its junction with Langsett Road North, and bring in parking restrictions on Bridge Hill and parts of Langsett Road North.
Current safety schemes with development funding approved are: Sheaf Street crossing; Abbeydale Road/Wolseley Road junction; Ecclesall Road/Greystones Road junction; Burton Road, Hillsborough crossing; Rother Valley country park parking scheme; Abbey Lane accessibility scheme; Handsworth 20mph scheme; Beighton 20mph scheme; Manor Park 20mph; Deerlands 20mph scheme; Waterthorpe 20mph scheme; Highfield 20mph scheme; Jordanthorpe 20mph scheme; Burncross 20mph scheme; Norton 20mph scheme; Carter Knowle 20mph scheme; Westfield 20mph scheme; Herdings 20mph scheme; High Green 20mph scheme; and Fulwood 20mph scheme
Current safety schemes that are currently anticipated to be completed in 21/22 are: Bridge Hill, Oughtibridge; Station Road, Halfway pedestrian crossing; Fairleigh 20mph scheme; Crosspool 20mph scheme; Woodseats 20mph scheme; Hillsborough 20 mph scheme; Heeley 20mph scheme
The Sheffield Council cabinet member responsible for transport in the city, Coun Douglas Johnson, said although there is work being done, the budget for pedestrian crossings was never enough to meet demand – but it was not always pedestrian crossings that were needed.
He said pedestrian crossings were ‘surprisingly’ expensive to install because of the electrics and the signals. That was why only a few were installed each year.
Coun Johnson said: “People often ask for pedestrian crossings, but it’s not always pedestrian crossings that are needed. There are often other things that can be done, like pedestrian refuges in the middle of the road, if it’s wide enough. It depends on the road – that’s why we have highly trained professional highway design engineers.
He added: “When you consult with the public you sometimes get a really hostile reaction to road safety measures. The whole point about road safety improvements is to interfere with private motorists' ability to drive about where they want to at the speed they want.
"There are going to be some people who will object to that. That makes it more difficult and draws out the consultation, makes it more expensive and can limit the work that can be done.”
There is also work going on to create improved walking and cycling routes that link together better than existing cycle lanes, under a major scheme called Connecting Sheffield, which aims to make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle, which he expects to improve road safety.
Road safety ‘equality issue’
He added; “Road safety is an equality issue. If you look at a map of collisions and where people are hurt by them, then they are disproportionately in more deprived parts of the city. So it is really important to do more work in those areas.
Coun Johnson is aware of concerns in many areas.
"One that I was thinking about recently that’s been raised in the last few years is on West Street in town,” he said. “Crossing there at Rockingham Street is where people often ask me if they can get a pedestrian crossing, just because it's really difficult to cross at that point.
He said he had been told that would not happen because one was to be placed further down Rockingham Street near Trippet Lane, where a new cycle route was being put.
"There are cars going along there at quite high speeds, and it’s a very busy route for pedestrians too. It would be good to get something done there.”
“That is one example of many. The problem is we’ve got a road system designed for cars. If you look back at how Sheffield was designed in the 60s it was designed as a city with dual carriageways that cut right through it . Pedestrians sometimes had to go a long way round. There’s still a lot to undo to make the road system more acceptable and safe for pedestrians.
"A lot of people live in the city centre now. When those roads were built, that was not envisaged.”
Rita Magni, Junaid Latif and two others killed on roads
He said recent deaths on the roads had generally been characterised by pedestrians who had been killed.
"Disproportionately, pedestrians are affected,” he said.