Work is set to start this summer on the first phase of an £8 million masterplan to make Sheffield University easier to get around for pedestrians and cyclists.
City council cabinet members were recommended to give the go-ahead this week to secure £2.9 million from the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund towards the cost of the work, which will see a raft of changes brought in.
One of the key pieces of work will be to pedestrianise Leavygreave Road and part of Portobello Street, with landscaping, seating, public art and planting provided to make the area more attractive.
This is expected to coincide with the opening of the university’s £61 million Diamond building in September.
Congestion and road safety issues will be tackled through two new crossings on Western Bank and alterations to two crossings on the Inner Ring Road at Upper Hanover Street. Bus routes 95, 51 and 52 will also be diverted off Leavygreave Road East.
The scheme will extend the ‘gold route’ that takes pedestrians from the square in front of the railway station to Devonshire Green.
The university is putting up £5.47 million of its own money to fund work on its own estate.
This includes replacing the car park in front of the Arts Tower with a landscaped area including trees, water features, a lawn, seating and a cafe.
Work will also ‘unlock’ the sites for three new science buildings and an extension to the Information Commons.
The improvements are all designed to accomodate growing numbers of students, and to improve the environment for students, staff and the general public.
Consultations on traffic regulation orders needed to divert buses and pedestrianise Leavygreave Road and parts of other streets are now under way and will go before the cabinet highways sub-committee next month.
Work could start as soon as June and be completed in late 2016.
Professor Mike Hounslow, who chairs the university’s project board, said the scheme will make the campus a ‘safe, inviting and interesting place.’
Cabinet member Coun Leigh Bramall said it showed the university’s ‘commitment to being part of a vibrant and successful city centre’.