Pedestrian raises Penistone Road crossing safety fears

Pedestrian crossings have been removed from Penistone Road/Leppings Lane.

Pedestrian crossings have been removed from Penistone Road/Leppings Lane.

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Major roadworks which have caused congestion and chaos on Sheffield’s second busiest road are finally due to be finished next week.

The work to change a roundabout on Penistone Road near Leppings Lane to a junction, as part of a new Sainsbury’s store, had led to complaints from motorists and nearby business owners.

Pedestrian crossings have been removed from Penistone Road/Leppings Lane.

Pedestrian crossings have been removed from Penistone Road/Leppings Lane.

Fears for safety were raised recently after two zebra crossings on Penistone Road and Leppings Lane, Hillsborough, were taken out around three weeks ago.

New replacement crossings only started to work yesterday, after The Star intervened.

Up until then the only safety measure in place on the road, used by 60,000 cars a day, were yellow warning signs and walkers had to brave the traffic to cross.

Changes to Penistone Road have been controversial for weeks because of delays, the impact on businesses and congestion.

Matt Turner, a resident of Hillsborough, highlighted the crossing problem at a Sheffield Council highways meeting.

He said: “The council said it was down to contractors and they had lots of problems with them, but they only put in signals for motorists, not anybody else.

“The most vulnerable user group on the road - pedestrians - was given the least protection.

“It was putting people in danger for about three weeks after the crossings were removed.”

Matt said the issue showed the council had ‘contempt’ for pedestrians during Road Safety Week.

A council source said council officers were told the contractors would have the pedestrian crossings working at the beginning of this week at the latest – but the date passed without the work being finished.

Sainsbury’s used private contractors to carry out the work, rather than the council, meaning the authority had no power to enforce action.

Business owners have called for compensation over trade they have lost as a result.

Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for development, said: “We did everything we could to pressure the contractors to get it sorted.

“We keep being told it is about to be done.

“It is frustrating and not acceptable that we keep being given imminent dates that are not met.

“It is a Sainsbury’s scheme that has obviously had a lot of problems with it.”

The new Sainsbury’s store is due to open on Wednesday.

A spokesman said all roadworks should be complete by Tuesday and the firm apologised for any inconvenience.

He added: “All work we have been carrying out has been agreed with the council, including temporary measures like altering road crossings.”