Why parking is now completely BANNED near this popular Sheffield attraction

Clarkehouse Road
Clarkehouse Road

Parking will be banned completely on a busy Sheffield street in a controversial move which has delighted cyclists – but angered local residents and businesses.

Double yellow lines will be painted the whole length of Clarkehouse Road, Broomhill, to make it safer for cyclists. Sheffield Council says it will also help traffic flow more easily and safely and improve visibility on side roads, especially at Park Lane, Broomgrove Crescent and Rutland Park.

It will mean the loss of 86 parking spaces along the road, which is close to the Botanical Gardens and Ecclesall Road.

The move has been welcomed by cycling groups but there has been objections from the Botanical Gardens, which fears visitors will struggle to attend, and from residents and businesses.

Sheffield Council contacted 144 properties on Clarkehouse Road along with Birkdale Preparatory School, the Botanical Gardens, CycleSheffield and King Edward Swimming Pool.

It received 111 responses – 101 were supportive with nine against. But officers have ‘anonymised’ the consultation and have not revealed people’s names.

Matthew Lowe, senior engineer at Sheffield Council, said in a report: “The cycle lanes on Clarkehouse Road are usually blocked by parked cars. This leads to the cycle lanes being unusable by people on bicycles for the majority of the day.

“People cycling on Clarkehouse Road have to move in and out of traffic to pass parked cars, leading to increased risk of conflict and it deters less experienced cyclists.  Removing parked cars from the cycle lane would vastly improve Clarkehouse Road for people on bicycles. It would also lead to an increase in cycling.

“Given the narrowness of parts of Clarkehouse Road, cars tend to park with two wheels on the footway. This narrows the footways which leads to problems particularly for pushchair, prams and wheelchairs.”

CycleSheffield said parked cars blocking the cycle lane made it ‘difficult and potentially dangerous’.

It said: “Clarkehouse Road is a popular route for cycling into Sheffield and the road needs protected space for cycling due to the heavy volumes of traffic but this is a welcome step towards this.

“There are two large multi-storey car parks within walking distance of this road and so there is no need for on road parking.”

Sheffrec Cycling Club said: “The current situation is wholly unsatisfactory from a cycling point of view, outside of commuting hours riders are forced into narrow main carriageway rather than continuing in the cycleway.”

But the Botanical Gardens said removing car parking would impact on disabled and less able visitors.

It said: “The Botanical Gardens has no parking facilities internally and visitors are encouraged to use public transport. However many visitors do come from a distance away and drive directly to the gardens.

“Car parking will be forced on to local side roads and to Brocco Bank causing issues for residents and increasing the traffic issues along Brocco Bank, which is a narrower stretch of road.

“Parking restrictions will exacerbate parking issues during the many events that take place in the gardens including theatre, Music in the Gardens, Art in the Gardens and Illuminate the Gardens. These events can attract many thousands of people.”

And an unnamed events organiser objected: “The removal of any adjacent parking would further reduce the viability of the gardens as a venue for events that can draw over 3,000 people per night.

“With very restricted on-site parking capacity and the nearest public car parking over 1.5 miles away, the proposal to restrict car parking adjacent to the gardens on Clarkehouse Road would effectively kill our charity fundraising event and the ability of a number of large events to take place in the Botanical Gardens.”

But officers say the loss of the spaces on Clarkehouse Road is ‘small and the impact on events in the Gardens should be minimal’.

Some businesses are also unhappy. One company said: “Parking has been extremely limited and competitive on Clarkehouse Road and on the nearby streets for a number of years.

“The current arrangements work for our business as they allow on street free parking for our visiting client to use We believe that the planned reduction of free parking on Clarkehouse Road will have a negative effect on our business.”

A second business said: “Removing the parking would be very harmful to my business. All the businesses will be affected and may have to close down due to lack of custom.

“Myself and the staff use the parking for our vehicles as Botanical Gardens don’t have their own parking. If you take the parking away, we would have to park long distances away and walk which is another hassle when I’m bringing new stock in as usually I would make several trips to my vehicle to take the stock inside.”

Two local residents also objected.

One said: “We are extremely dismayed and worried about the problems this will cause. We live in a semi-detached house with a shared drive which is adequate enough for us as residents, but these changes would cause terrible problems for anyone visiting or indeed delivering to our home.”

Another said: “Having mobility problems, but no Blue Badge parking concession, I find parking on Clarkehouse Road as permitted at limited times, throughout the day, enables me to attend Hallamshire Hospital for appointments. Any alternative parking option is limited either on street or in the hospital car park.”

Cyclists v motorists

Clarkehouse Road is part of the National Cycle Network and is used by commuters cycling to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, both universities and the city centre

There were 15 injury collisions on Clarkehouse Road in the five years – three were serious and 12 slight. Over half of the collisions involved cyclists, one of which was serious. Of the cycle collisions four involved vehicles failing to give way and pulling out on or turning across a cyclist. Two involved cyclist riding into car doors, one was a side swipe type collision and one a shunt type collision.

Where to park now?

The nearest public car park is the 561 -space Durham Road multi-storey car park which is less than a mile away from the Botanical Gardens.

Blue Badge holders can legitimately park on the double yellow lines as long as they do not cause an obstruction. Pedestrians with mobility problems can be dropped off or picked up on the double yellow lines.

People making deliveries to businesses and residents can park on the double yellow lines to load and unload as long as they do not cause an obstruction.