Moves to smooth traffic flows on Ecclesall Road

Proposed changes on Ecclesall Road involve bus lanes, road layouts, parking and signals
Proposed changes on Ecclesall Road involve bus lanes, road layouts, parking and signals
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A PROPOSED package of traffic measures has been drawn up to ease congestion on Ecclesall Road and Ecclesall Road south.

Changes to bus lanes, road layouts, parking and signals are lined up for between the Moore Street roundabout at the city centre end and Abbey Lane at Parkhead.

Computer simulations have indicated that the result will be shorter journey times for cars and buses at peak times.

Councillors will discuss the situation next Thursday with a view to carrying out further public consultation on a range of options.

The suggested package is the result of an attempt by the authority and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to smooth traffic flows on the ‘Ecclesall Road Smart Route’.

Initial consultation indicated tackling congestion should be a priority, followed by better road safety and then improving road and pavement surfaces.

A fifth of respondents wanted to see improvements at Hunters Bar and Brocco Bank. Then priorities were the section between Huntingtower Road and Carter Knowle Road, including the Gisborne Road junction, and the Moore Street roundabout.

Changes are already being made to widen the Charter Row approach to the Moore Street roundabout and to change markings to help traffic flow more freely.

Meanwhile the council is welcoming a new pedestrian crossing near the Nursery Tavern in connection with the construction of a Marks and Spencer Simply Food store on the site of the former Evans Halshaw car dealership.

The latest scheme includes options such as:

Shortening the Hunters Bar roundabout so both lanes can be used more efficiently, with better markings on the approach. At the same time there is a commitment to protecting the historical importance of the roundabout and bar in the middle;

Removing the outbound bus lane between Hunters Bar and Rustlings Road and removing the central bus lane on the inbound approach to Hunters Bar;

Improving the pedestrian crossings on the roundabout;

Removing parking spaces opposite Greystones Road so that vehicles do not get stuck behind those turning right into Greystones Road;

Shortening the outbound bus lane on the approach to the Psalter Lane traffic lights;

Providing a right turning lane from Ecclesall Road South into Gisborne Road to avoid holding up through traffic;

Moving the pedestrian crossing at Ringinglow Road to beyond the junction to help provide breaks in the traffic for right turning vehicles;

Changing the lane markings on the Ecclesall Road approach to the Moore Street roundabout; and

Improving traffic signal co-ordination, especially at the inner ring road.

It was hoped to widen an outbound section of Ecclesall Road slightly between Rustlings Road and Greystones Road so that larger vehicles could pass parked cars more easily but this has been ruled out for the time being because of budget cuts.

A report by council highways officers says the overall aim is to reduce journey times on the whole corridor for all road users. “The project team wanted to make sure that a reduction on overall delays was realistic and that delays were not simply moved down to the next junction. Improved journey time reliability is also important for all vehicles but particularly so for bus services.”

Computer estimates indicate car drivers will save two minutes at peak times in the morning and evening, while buses will save 30 seconds in the morning and one minute in the evening.

Council leader Paul Scriven, also a councillor for Broomhill, which includes parts of Ecclesall Road, said: “The important thing is to listen to what people want.

“I am looking forward to the views of people who live, work and travel along Ecclesall Road to see if we can ease the problems for everybody.”