Campaigners say Sheffield Council plan to redesign Charter Square is ‘not safe for cyclists’

The former Grosvenor House Hotel, viewed from the middle of Charter Square, Sheffield City Centre.
The former Grosvenor House Hotel, viewed from the middle of Charter Square, Sheffield City Centre.

Campaigners say a plan to redesign a Sheffield city centre roundabout would make the roads more hazardous for cyclists.

Sheffield Council wants to remove the Charter Square roundabout and get rid of the road link between Wellington Street and Charter Row.

The redesign includes a two-way cycle lane on the south side of Charter Row and Furnival Gate, and a cycle lane through a new pedestrianised area to Wellington Street.

But members of CycleSheffield, which lobbies for better cycling infrastructure, say the plan does not benefit cyclists.

Dexter Johnstone, 34, from Walkley, said: “There are two main issues with the scheme.

“First, it is poorly designed and does not follow current best practice which the council has committed to do, and second, the scope of the scheme is so limited it will do nothing to increase numbers of people cycling, even if it was well-designed.”

The proposed redesign of Charter Square, Sheffield

The proposed redesign of Charter Square, Sheffield

Mr Johnstone said the new design introduced hazards for cyclists which did not previously exist, such as the lane through the pedestrianised zone to Wellington Street.

This was a point echoed in a CycleSheffield response to a council consultation on the plans, which has now closed.

The group wrote: “What safe or convenient route is there for people on bikes being taken north into this traffic and why would people on bikes coming from the north want to enter the Charter Square development from this area, given the unsuitability of these access roads for cycling?”

The consultation on the proposals closed on July 15 and a decision will be made in August. If no changes are needed, work could begin in September.

If the proposals are approved, the dual carriageway in Charter Row and Furnival Gate would be replaced with a two-way single carriageway, running between Rockingham Street and Pinstone Street.

The remaining area would be pedestrianised, and would likely include two new cafes or restaurants as part of the retail quarter development. A new two-way cycle lane would be put on the south side of Charter Row and Furnival Gate, between Rockingham Street and Pinstone Street.

The bus stop currently in Charter Row, at the back of Debenhams, would be moved to Furnival Gate.

Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for transport, said: “This development will improve crossing and access opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists in and around Charter Square. It is also intended to improve the environment ahead of the completion of a new cinema and restaurants on the Moor which will have an entrance on to Charter Square.”

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