Sheffield Green Party has objected to two proposed Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) removing sections of bus lanes at Hunters Bar and Banner Cross for which a consultation ended on August 5th. Spokesperson Brian Webster comments :
“The proposed changes will make Ecclesall Road more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. They give priority to cars, rather than buses, which ultimately cause more congestion – 70% of cars on Ecclesall Rd have only one occupant. Cyclists will face real danger getting across two lanes of cars riding uphill to the right turn into Rustlings Road. ”
He continues “The council has a future transport vision that to be successful requires fewer car journeys and more people travelling by bus, tram, train, bicycle, walking and car sharing. If implemented, these TROs would take us in the opposite direction. The council must stick to their vision and work to transform the way people travel in this congested and polluted area. It must create a good and safe environment to walk and cycle, improve bus priority and encourage and reward fuller car occupancy journeys. “
1 – The response to the TROs from Brian Webster of Sheffield Green Party follows :
“Sheffield Green Party objects to the removal of sections of bus lanes on Ecclesall Road via the two TROs.
Substantial parts of Ecclesall Road are slow moving or jammed for much of the day. It is a worsening air quality hot spot with clear health impacts. The only solutions that will address this issue over the long term must involve reduced car use linked to increased use of public transport and more cycling and walking.
Outward-bound traffic leaving the Hunter’s Bar roundabout often accelerates rapidly, with vehicles sometimes changing lanes quickly. Statistics indicate that many cyclists regard this stretch of Ecclesall Road as a “death trap” and the TROs will make it even more dangerous for cyclists. I agree with cycle campaigners that a dual use footway alongside Ecclesall Road that falls well below minimum local and national standards is unacceptable. It will endanger cyclists (especially at the point where they have to rejoin the main carriageway) and pedestrians.
Around 70% of vehicles using Ecclesall Road have one occupant. Instead of rewarding car sharing and multiple occupancy, the TROs seek to alleviate and encourage the problem single occupants create to the detriment of road users on buses and bikes.
The council urgently needs a long term plan to transform the way people travel in that area. It must create a good and safe environment to walk and cycle. It must continually improve bus priority and encourage and reward fuller car occupancy journeys.
“A Vision for Excellent Transport in Sheffield” (“Our approach to transport between 2011 and 2026”) includes 8 measures to indicate success – “we will be successful if”. The first 5 are if : “More people travel by bus, tram, train, bicycle, walking and car sharing.” “Fewer car journeys are made.” “Pollution is reduced”. “Congestion is reduced.” “There are fewer accidents.” The TROs will make all 5 measures worse so it’s unthinkable that they could be given the go ahead.”
2 – Sheffield Council’s “A Vision for Excellent Transport in Sheffield” is at https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/roads/about/transport-policy/transport-vision