One of our main priorities is to make sure we help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we recognise the importance of observing social distancing guidelines. In response we are looking at ways that road space can be temporarily used to ensure the safe passage of pedestrians at key local centres.
Changes to how we travel
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of profound changes to travel patterns and how people are using streets in Sheffield. More people are walking and cycling which has created an immediate need for more physical space. As social distancing cannot always be done safely on existing pavements we're making emergency amendments to footpaths, primarily in and around local shopping areas, as a temporary measure.
What we've already done
The temporary steps that have already been taken across the city to help maintain social distancing are:
- footpath widening has been introduced in many areas across the city to make it safe for people to travel as we move into the next stages of lockdown
- Division Street is now partly pedestrianised from Westfield Terrace to Rockingham Street (between the Frog and Parrot and the Great Gatsby)
- Pinstone Street has been closed to all traffic except pedestrians and cyclists in the Southbound direction between Orchard Lane and Furnival Gate. This includes the widening of footpaths between Cross Burgess Street and Furnival Gate. Vehicle access from Furnival Gate into Pinstone Street (northbound) will remain open
- bus routes in the City Centre have been diverted from Pinstone Street to Carver Street and Arundel Gate
- as part of the Pinstone Street changes the route from Surrey Street to Pinstone Street has been closed during certain hours. Upper Charles Street has also been closed to provide footpaths and cycle links. Seating areas may also be introduced
Shalesmoor and Kelham Island
From 5 July:
A fully segregated cycle path will be introduced between Shalesmoor roundabout and Corporation Street junction, linking the Millsands area to Kelham Island and Neepsend. The scheme will also incorporate road closures at Ball Street and Alma Street for motor vehicles, with a one-way motor vehicle restriction on part of Green Lane. These changes will still be open for people to walk and cycle and creates a low-traffic neighbourhood to support walking and cycling in the area.
Five Weirs Walk
From 12 July:
Temporary cycle lanes are being introduced on Attercliffe Road between Princess Street and Stevenson Road to create a continued route for the Five Weirs Walk while repair works are being undertaken. In addition, some side roads will be made one-way to avoid the risk of cyclists conflicting with pedestrians or vehicles.
Division Street closure
Division Street is an important thoroughfare. It has been temporarily closed to vehicles to allow pedestrians more space for social distancing and to encourage cycling in the city centre.
- Division Street is closed to vehicles between Westfield Terrace and Rockingham Street. This section is now available for pedestrians and cyclists only
- Canning Street is closed to vehicles
- the one-way direction has been reversed on Westfield Terrace to provide an exit for vehicles from Devonshire Street. The parking spaces are still in use
- the on-street parking bays between Eldon Street and Westfield Terrace have been removed. They are now being used as widened footpaths
- the parking laybys between Rockingham Street and Carver Street have been removed. They are now being used as widened footpaths
In conjunction with the work being undertaken by the City Centre Management Team to help ensure the safe opening of the retail and leisure offer in the City Centre, a number of critical changes are required to the highway network to ensure safe social distancing. The works are being implemented to enable shops to operate effectively with the need to create locations for queuing and passing pedestrians. A number of roads will be closed and bus services will be diverted to other areas.
These temporary changes are now in place:
- Leopold Street (Church Street towards Town Hall) - closed to traffic from 10am to 6pm. Access will be allowed for servicing business premises in this area. A widened footway for pedestrians will be built to allow the public to observe social distancing
- Leopold Street (northbound) - exit from Barkers Pool towards Church Street will still be available. No U turn available to take traffic back on Leopold Street towards Town hall
- Surrey Street - closed at the junction with Pinstone Street with no access to Pinstone Street via Surrey Street. Traffic will be able to use Surrey Street to access the top end of Fargate, exit via Norfolk Row from 6pm to 10am. Between 10am and 6pm there will be no vehicle access to Fargate. Two way traffic flow on Surrey Street will be allowed
- Pinstone Street (Surrey Street to Cross Burgess Street) - Pinstone Street closed to traffic between 10am and 6pm from 15 June. Between 10am and 6pm access will be allowed for servicing business premises in this area. Closed at Cross Burgess Street and no traffic will be able to exit Pinstone Street via Furnival Gate. Vehicles exiting this section of Pinstone Street will use an existing emergency exit through removable bollards at the junction of Barkers Pool and Leopold Street to travel towards Church Street. There will be a section of widened footway on this section of Pinstone Street to allow the public to observe social distancing
- Pinstone Street Southbound (Cross Burgess Street to Furnival Gate) - Pinstone Street between Cross Burgess Street and Furnival Gate will be closed to traffic. All servicing on this section of Pinstone Street will be taken from a newly constructed loading/unloading area built on Union Street. There will be a section of widened footway to allow the public to observe social distancing
- Pinstone Street Northbound (Furnival Gate to Cross Burgess Street) - Traffic will be able to travel from Furnival Gate to Cross Burgess Street on Pinstone Street. There will be no servicing on this section of road, all servicing will have to be taken from a newly constructed loading/unloading area built on Union Street. There will be a section of widened footway on this section of Pinstone Street
- Bus Services - as Pinstone Street will be closed, bus routes that serve those bus stops will be relocated. Bus services entering the City Centre from West Street will be diverted via Carver Street to Charter Row with temporary bus stops placed along this route. For bus services that use Pinstone Street coming from High Street/Church Street, these will be diverted along Arundel Gate to Furnival Gate where existing routes will be continued. Bus stops will be located along Arundel Gate for these buses. Find out more at Travel South Yorkshire
There will be a team of City Centre Ambassadors on duty in the City Centre to provide advice and assistance to the public, businesses and public transport users.
What we're going to do
In the coming weeks we are planning footpath widening in communities across Sheffield including Gleadless Townend, Manor Top, Frecheville, Chapeltown, Stocksbridge, Darnall, Hillsborough and Crookes
What we're considering
In addition, the Government has directly advised people not to use public transport. Where possible we want to help people to travel on foot and by bike. We are not promoting the use of private vehicles if travelling on foot or by bike is a realistic alternative.
We have identified a number of potential changes. The options we are considering are:
- bringing forward planned road closures
- temporary active travel lanes
- pedestrian safety zones
- continued roll out of safety zone marking at bus stops
- continued roll out of safety zone marking at crossings
Grey to Green 2
Temporary cycle routes should maximise the benefits of existing programmes of works. An example of this is the Grey to Green 2 project which is providing new cycle ways on Snig Hill (already open), Castlegate, Blonk St, Exchange St and Exchange Place. This is due for completion at the beginning of July and ties with the timescales for the COVID-19 Temporary changes to footpaths and highways.
The scheme removes longstanding barriers and links up the city centre with several long distance walking/cycle routes including:
- Five Weirs Walk
- Canal Towpath
- National Cycle Route 67
- Sheaf Valley Park and Upper Don Trail
Portobello/Trippet Lane/Holly St extension of high quality University cycle way from Western Bank to Heart of City is also nearing completion.
How we make our decisions
All schemes are temporary measures to maintain social distancing, particularly where this supports access to local amenities. They will be continually assessed and suggestions will be looked at by us. Each measure we take will be considered on a case by case basis. Decisions will be made based on advice from Public Health, Government guidance and prioritising need.