Vote for status quo at city centre junction

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CHANGES will not be made to a junction in Sheffield city centre after members of the public voted to retain the current layout.

Sheffield Council held an online vote under its Driving Me Crazy scheme in which ordinary people are asked to decide on traffic issues.

Suggestions had been made for the Moorhead junction of Furnival Gate and Pinstone Street to be altered so a right turn out of Pinstone Street for buses onto Furnival Gate towards Charter Square could be reinstated.

Since 2008, buses which used to make the manoeuvre have been forced to turn left and perform a U-turn at Furnival Square roundabout, meaning they go through three extra sets of traffic lights.

The change would have made bus journeys quicker and reduced delays, but Moor traders and pedestrians were unhappy that it would have also cut the amount of time traffic lights at the junction are on ‘green man’ – so making it take longer to cross the busy junction.

Of 598 votes cast, 315 were in favour of the existing system – 52.68 per cent – while 278, or 46.49 per cent, wanted the change. Five people, equivalent to 0.84 per cent, were undecided.

Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment and transport at Sheffield Council, said: “Almost 600 votes were cast and over 50 per cent of those wanted the traffic lights to remain the same. It was a close vote but overwhelmingly apparent were the views of the city retailers.

“As a council we are committed to working with businesses to grow our local economy. We have listened to everyone’s views and the Moorhead junction will keep the same arrangement it has had for four years.”

Retailers welcomed the decision.

Nicholas Atkinson, of Atkinson’s department store, said: “Going back to the old way would be a retrograde step for pedestrians, retailers and the planned new development of The Moor.”

The decision to keep the status quo was heavily down to votes from pedestrians, 159 of whom were against change, compared with 80 for. And 29 cyclists wanted the junction to stay as it is, compared with only five in favour of change.

But bus passengers, who suffer from delays due to the current layout, voted overwhelmingly in favour of change, by 102 to 46 against.

Car drivers, who were unaffected because the reinstated right turn out of Pinstone Street would have been for buses and taxis only, voted against change, by 79 to 65. Of the other votes, 20 people gave no details about themselves, there were seven taxi drivers, who voted for change by five to two, and there was one motorcyclist, who also voted against change.