Concern bus passengers are struggling after close of major Sheffield city centre road

A transport boss at Sheffield Council is worried bus passengers have struggled since a major city centre road was closed.

Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 4:45 pm

Pinstone Street was blocked off to all traffic during lockdown and there are now plans to close it permanently to buses and cars.

The council maintains it was right to close the road but is concerned about the effect on bus passengers as stops have been relocated.

Matthew Reynolds, transport planning and infrastructure manager at the council, told a scrutiny meeting: “The bus stop accessibility is the part which is a concern and keeps me awake at night as it’s bus passengers who feel it the most.

Concern has been raised following the closure of PInstone Street, in the city centre.

“We try to put bus stops in the places where people want to get to the most but the city centre has changed.

“There’s a shift, the retail core is moving and it’s a tricky transition phase from the retail on Fargate to the Moor.”

Mr Reynolds said there had been positive comments about the closure but he didn’t know if any were from bus passengers.

The Pinstone Street scheme was about social distancing and the key was at the bottom near the new HSBC,” he said.

“The width was down to 3m and there was going to be too much interaction so we needed to widen the pedestrian thoroughfare.

“Because of that change, the buses had to relocate and had to do it very quickly. Where some of the bus services had to re-route, we put in bus gates to try to maintain journey times as they did increase.”

Mr Reynolds also said Shalesmoor was chosen for a temporary cycle lane because it connects to the Northern General hospital, the Grey to Green scheme and to Penistone Road.

He added: “If it was permanent we wouldn’t have done it in that way because it’s a ring road but people did want to use active travel.

“When we first designed it traffic was at 20 per cent and the upturn of the economy happened really quickly so the scheme came off when that happened.

“Traffic levels were starting to rise to about 80 per cent and there were delays to bus services so the decision was made to take that out.”

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