As part of continued efforts to encourage active travel and ensure social distancing Sheffield Labour councillors have unveiled a host of changes to Kelham Island’s roads.
Footpath widening has already been introduced across the city to make it safer for people to travel on foot, and there will now be further road closures and increased cycle lanes, designed to provide the infrastructure needed to encourage people to make significant changes in how they get around.
This includes major changes to Kelham Island with Alma Street closed to motor vehicles outside the Fat Cat Pub, and Ball Street Bridge. The closure will take place from where the road narrows near Brooklyn Works, on the south side of the river, to outside Graffiti on the north side. However people on bikes or walking will be able to get through both of the closures.
Once the scheme is underway, access to Kelham Island Museum and Kelham Riverside will be via Alma Street with access to the rest of Kelham via Green Lane service road, Dun Street or Russell Street, with exiting at Cornish Street or Russell Street.
Access to Neepsend will be from Rutland Road or Bridgehouses; using either Neepsend Lane, Hicks Street or Burton Road.
These measures will create a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) in Kelham Island where the only motor vehicles in the area are ones specific to it i.e. motor vehicles belonging to residents and local businesses, including deliveries.
Councillor Bob Johnsons, Labour Cabinet Member for Transport and Development, commented:
“With public transport limited due to the pandemic it is more important than ever we help people get to where they need to be. We understand many people still rely on their car but we also need to focus on more sustainable methods of travel. This will reduce congestion but also improve air quality and help tackle the climate emergency.
“Widened footpaths are being put in place to help everyone stay safe whilst walking in their neighbourhoods, and we’re now going even further and introducing new road closures and cycle lanes that will give people the opportunity to try out a new way of travelling around our city.
“This is what we are trying in Kelham Island and I am sure that this will make a positive impact – not just for now but in the long term, as Sheffielders make lasting changes in their lives to improve their health and wellbeing going forward, as well as helping to create a safer and cleaner city.
“I think it’s telling that a recent survey by the AA of twenty thousand people found that over 50% wanted to drive less after the lockdown, and one in five said they would cycle more.
“There is clearly an appetite for the sort of changes we are proposing, and I’m sure we all want to breathe cleaner air and see less congested roads. It’s the job of the Council to help make this happen, and Labour are committed to ensuring that they do”.
“We will of course continue to monitor and review these measures regularly so we can make adjustments as necessary, and will also seek to understand public response to them”.
“These changes are great news for Kelham Island, and we want similar changes throughout the city. If you can think of any further locations that would benefit from pop-up active travel infrastructure, you can suggest these on Sheffield City Region’s interactive travel map.”
Note for readers:
Link to Interactive Travel Map – https://cyclewalkscrmap.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk/
Link to AA Survey on – https://roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/survey-suggests-drivers-ready-to-embrace-active-travel/