Sheffield’s Dutch-style roundabout: How it will work and what it will look like

Plans have been made to place a ‘Dutch-style’ roundabout in Sheffield – a first for the city which will see the Kelham and Neepsend area transformed to give preference to cyclists and pedestrians.

Monday, 15th February 2021, 1:43 pm

The so-called ‘Dutch-style’ roundabouts are popular in the Netherlands, and feature an almost completely segregated cycle lane as well as pedestrian crossings on all entrances.

The plan is for the one in Sheffield to be installed on the West Bar, outside the Emergency Services Museum, near The Shakespeare pub.

It comes as part of the latest ‘Connecting Sheffield’ scheme which aims to make the city better for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport.

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An artist's impression of what the roundabout would look like.

The latest phase of the plan focuses on Neepsend, Kelham and the City Centre, and will see landscaping and development all over the area.

Consultations around the whole development, including whether the roundabout is a good idea are ongoing, due to end on March 3.

A spokesperson for Connecting Sheffield said the project will help “to improve the environment of these areas and linking them into the heart of the City through new, high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure and improved routes for bus services.”

The current roundabout.

They explained: "The roundabout at West Bar will be converted to create Sheffield’s first Dutch-style roundabout which will give cycling and walking priority over motor traffic at junction crossings.

“A segregated cycle track will run around the roundabout and pedestrian and cycle crossings will be positioned on each arm of the roundabout to make it safer and easier to cross the road.

"Dutch-style roundabouts are designed to reduce traffic speed much more than normal roundabouts which creates a safer environment for walking and cycling.

"Cyclists travelling around the roundabout will have priority over general traffic. Signage will be put in place to alert motorists to the changes in priority.”

A map of the planned roundabout.

The new segregated cycle track and landscaping will continue from West Bar roundabout along Tenter Street on the side heading into the City Centre. Tenter Street will become one lane in each direction for vehicle traffic.

New signal-controlled crossings will be added to facilitate cycling and walking and a continuous footway over junctions running off Tenter Street along the side streets towards West Bar roundabout will give priority to pedestrians.

With the exception of Silver Street Head, access for vehicles to each side street and on Tenter Street itself will be maintained.

The roundabout currently in place at the junction of Broad Lane will be replaced with a T-junction. Vehicle access to and from Hawley Street where it meets Townhead Street will be removed, with Hawley Street becoming two-way with access from Campo Lane.

From the new T-junction, the cycle track will travel up Townhead Street to connect to the cycle tracks starting at Leopold Street.

The idea for the Dutch-style roundabout follows the installation of the first of its kind of Cambridge last year, however the concept is not without its critics and many have branded them more dangerous than the ones they replaced.

Opinion there is divided, however, with many cyclists and an RAC spokesperson praising the change.