Pinstone Street may reopen says Sheffield Council director – 24 hours after politician says closed indefinitely
A major city centre road may reopened to traffic – despite a senior politician at Sheffield Council saying it will close “indefinitely”.
Earlier this week, a senior councillor said the Pinstone Street blockades would be kept in place.
But there is confusion after the director of city centre development said late this afternoon that the council is still considering all the options and the road could still be reopened to traffic.
The announcement broke after this week’s edition of the Sheffield Telegraph went to press.
Director Nalin Seneviratne will present a report to a special Executive meeting next week but says there’s no firm decision yet and a further report is needed.
Mr Seneviratne says: “Pinstone Street was closed to traffic in June 2020 as part of the council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic to implement the social distancing guidance.
“This meant the removal of some bus movements through the city, relocating them to Rockingham Street and Arundel Gate.
“We have been working for some time on a Connecting Sheffield scheme with external funding streams that included the closure of Pinstone Street to motor traffic and reallocation of this space to walking and cycling, and broader amenity use.
“The benefits of this wider scheme are intended to be improved bus journey times, enhanced public realm and the formative stages of a seamless active travel network for the city.
“However, we have reviewed several temporary schemes before, such as Shalesmoor, and there is an opportunity to now review Pinstone Street.
“While removal of traffic through the Pinstone Street area has received some support, it has also highlighted concerns raised by some businesses, bus users, and user groups representing the interests of the elderly and the disabled.
“These were debated in September and councillors requested the report be referred back to the Executive, together with the issues raised, specifically with regard to accessibility, inclusivity and travel routes through the city centre.
“This report will be brought back to the Executive and will look at alternative options for Pinstone Street, including re-opening it to traffic.”
The report adds senior councillors are considering, as part of the budget process, funding a free, electric bus, to run on a route to be agreed, through the city centre.