University multi-storey car park plan passes a key test

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The University of Sheffield’s scheme for a multi-storey car park on its campus is in line for council approval next week, despite concerns from local transport operators that it will increase traffic congestion, especially around Brook Hill.

Council planners say the proposed 527-spaces on an existing 93-space surface car park at the corner of Durham Road, Glossop Road and Clarkson Street “will address the acknowledged shortfall in off-street parking.”

A transport assessment “has shown that the car park will not have a significant impact on peak hour traffic, but should improve general highway operation and pedestrian safety by removing circling traffic and providing new pedestrian crossing facilities”.

One hundred of the parking spaces would be allocated to the Children’s Hospital across the road. The rest are intended to be for visitors to the University, the hospitals and Weston Park Museum, with a maximum stay of six hours.

A warning has been sounded by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive on the basis that the car park would promote car use and increase congestion and air pollution with the risk of making public transport less reliable and less efficient.

An increase in numbers of vehicles could negate the introduction of buses with low emission engines in the 52 route.

The PTE says the development could exacerbate problems at Brook Hill and may have an impact on the effectiveness of the Sheffield Bus Partnership, which brings together the PTE, bus operators and the council, and the viability of the park and ride designed to reduced numbers of car trips between the Abbeydale Road Tesco.

It also questions the timing of the collection of the traffic data, during the quieter times of school holidays.

Sheffield Green Party has lodged an objection to the proposed nine-storey building - six above ground at the highest point.

But city planners are satisfied there would be no major problems in terms of traffic congestion, pollution and the design in a location next to two conservation areas.

Managers at the Children’s Hospital are keen to have the extra parking space for families of patients using out-patient and day case facilities and for visitors to the wards.

A recent satisfaction survey of patients indicated parking as the single highest source of concern, with 78.7% of 220 respondents saying they were unable to find a parking space.

One person said parking facilities are “a huge problem”, another that they ended up parking “miles away”.

Councillors will consider the details on Tuesday with a recommendation from their officers to give the go-ahead to the University of Sheffield.

International students arrive

Thousands of overseas students were getting their first taste of life in Sheffield this week.

They are preparing to start terms at the University of Sheffield and Hallam University. The biggest contingent at both universitiies is from China, followed by Malaysia and India.

Special arrangements are made to help the students settle into their new ways of life.