As the city of Sheffield unveils its plans to make an up-and-coming neighbourhood friendly to cyclists and pedestrians, one business owner told the BBC he would lose out on trade without easy access for lorries and vans.
Sheffield City Council's plans include new bike lanes and pedestrian crossings in Neepsend, West Bar and on Kelham Island. The council is planning to close some roads to cars and introduce a one-way system, rerouting the B6074 to go around the area rather than through it.
Two roads, Burton Road and Neepsend Lane, would see bus traffic prioritised. Drivers would have to pay to park in the area.
The council had initially proposed the changes in 2021 and is now consulting on a revised plan. It has removed proposals for some bike lanes, but the plan still includes a Dutch-style roundabout on West Bar.
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Sheffield also recently launched its clean air zone, where the most polluting taxis, vans and lorries now have to pay a charge to use the roads — but private car and motorbike drivers are not affected.
Sheffield City Council expects 1,500 homes to be built in the area during the next 20 years and says it is responding to demand.
Sheffield's plans for new cycling infrastructure (Connecting Sheffield)
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Committee Chair for Transport, Regeneration and Climate change said: “There is a huge amount of regeneration work taking place across the city, and it’s important that we make it easier to travel by public transport, cycling and walking.
“Making it easier to walk and cycle is especially important in development areas where journeys are likely to be shorter. We want other methods of transport to be accessible, reliable, and one of the first things people think of when planning their journey around the city.
“Our aim is to make our neighbourhoods pleasant places to live, and help people feel able to choose sustainable transport options. These proposals will help towards that.”
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But Matthew Windle, who runs a car repair business in the area, told the BBC that lorries would face higher costs as they would have to go through the city’s new clean air zone, and that the new road layout would mean losing passing trade.
Sheffield's plans to reduce car traffic (Connecting Sheffield)
"One of the worst things for us is that we have lots of older customers who have been with us for years and they will no longer be able to navigate to our garage," he said.
"[The changes] are going to kill our trade, simple as that, and they are going to make it very hard for a lot of other companies."
The plans are available in full on the Connecting Sheffield website.
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