Covid-19: Temporary changes to footpaths and highways

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
  • part of Kelham Island has become a low-traffic neighbourhood. Roads have been closed to make it easier for people to walk and cycle


We have made temporary changes to the road and footway layout on Fulwood Road and Glossop Road in Broomhill. This provides additional space on the pavement for pedestrians as they access local amenities and enables them to maintain the correct social distance between themselves and others.

Fulwood Road

The parking area outside Morrisions, Sainsbury’s etc has been temporarily pedestrianised to allow more space for people to maintain social distancing. This means that the parking bays are temporarily suspended. The area remains open for two disabled parking bays, with the addition of two further disabled bays on Spooner Road and Taptonville Road.

Alternative parking is available very close by. This includes the car park above the shops/businesses on Fulwood Road (accessed via Spooner Road) and in Spooner Road Car Park.

We haven’t taken this decision lightly and do understand the impact the removal of these popular parking bays will have on drivers. However, after careful consideration and consultation with local ward members, we believe this is the best way to keep people safe and socially distanced while they use businesses in this popular area.

These measures are temporary and we welcome your feedback on them. If they work well, and local businesses and residents are happy with the changes, we may look at making them permanent in the future. But please be reassured that before any decisions are made on permanent changes, we would undergo a full consultation process and would work with local businesses and residents to ensure they work well for everyone. 

Glossop Road

The footways on Glossop Road, between Fulwood Road and Peel Street and between Peel Street and the end of the pavement opposite Westbourne Road, have been temporarily extended by 1.5metres to give additional footway space.

Kelham Island

We have created a low-traffic neighbourhood in part of Kelham Island by closing Ball Street and Alma Road to motor vehicles and introducing a one-way restriction on part of Green Lane. All routes are still open for people to walk and cycle.

Five Weirs Walk

Temporary cycle lanes have been 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.

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

City Centre

Improvements are being made to the temporary measures on Pinstone Street to make them more accessible and attractive as people continue to return to the city centre.

The measures were introduced to make the city centre a pleasant and safe environment with more space for social distancing, and encourage walking and cycling. The current temporary measures require regular maintenance, are not fully accessible and are confusing to some. The improvement work will change that.

The transition to a semi-permanent scheme will be complete by the end of September 2020.

The improvement work consists of the following:

  • nearly all the water-filled barriers along Pinstone Street will be removed
  • the barriers will be placed by a high kerb. This will stop cars pulling onto the footway and discourage pedestrians from stepping into the road
  • tarmac will be laid on the road surface, behind the new kerbs, to bring the level up so that the new wider footway becomes step-free along the whole length of Pinstone Street from the Peace Gardens to the Moor
  • around 50 new planters will be installed along Pinstone Street
  • a new pedestrian crossing point will be created to connect to the bottom of Cambridge Street. This will be on a road hump to slow the little traffic that continues to use Pinstone Street and to make it step-free to cross
  • there is not enough space to provide a separate two-way cycle route through this section so downhill cycles will share with pedestrians
  • the signals at Moorhead will be made permanent
  • the crossing on the shop side will be made much wider and pedestrians will be expected to cross in one go 
  • the crossing on the Debenhams side will remain
  • the crossing across the bottom of Pinstone Street will be removed
  • the cycle route from Charter Square to Pinstone Street will be put back in use
  • buses will continue to travel from Charter Square to Arundel Gate
  • the alternative bus stops on Carver Street and Arundel Gate will remain
  • the access gates on Leopold Street, Surrey Street, Fargate and Barkers Pool will remain, but most of the red and white barrier will be removed

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. 

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. 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. 

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. 

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. 

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, Castlegate, Blonk St, Exchange St and Exchange Place.

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.

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