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Consultation opens on cycle-friendly city centre

Plans include a new-look Arundel Gate, with more space for cyclists, pedestrians and greenery.

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How Arundel Gate could look under new plans out for consultation.

Sheffield City Council.

A consultation has opened on plans to make Sheffield city centre cleaner, greener and easier to get around, with more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Proposals include permanently closing Pinstone St and Surrey St to cars and opening them up to people, as well as new cycle lanes on Arundel Gate and Furnival Gate.

The plans are open to public comment until 7 January and are the first of a series of projects paid for by the government's Transforming Cities Fund.

"It's great to see these schemes for the city centre which will make it a much more attractive environment for people walking and cycling, as well as deliver improvements for public transport users," Dexter Johnstone of CycleSheffield told Now Then.

"We know that the biggest barriers to people cycling in Sheffield are concerns about safety, so the creation of high-quality cycle infrastructure is essential to enable more people to make their journeys by bike."

As part of the project the Peace Gardens will be extended to meet a new 154-bedroom hotel overlooking Pinstone St, which recently gained planning permission.

A 'pocket park' will be created on the site of the Furnival Gate roundabout and simplified bus routes across the city centre will make public transport quicker and more reliable, Sheffield Council says.

Charles St, which is currently a cul-de-sac with parking, will be transformed with new green space and a cycle connection between Arundel Gate and Pinstone St.

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The entire proposed changes to the city centre.

Sheffield City Council.

The corporate-owned Sheffield Star have attacked the plans, basing a three-page story around comments from one Surrey St opticians. This included a letter from a resident of Matlock, which is 22 miles away, criticising proposals for Sheffield city centre.

But another city centre opticians, EYEYE on Division St, have repeatedly called for more active travel infrastructure and offer discounts to customers who arrive at the shop by bike.

Next year the Council will begin work on a large, 'Dutch-style' bike parking hub somewhere in the city centre, with further hubs planned for neighbourhoods around the city.

All active travel projects fall under the new Connecting Sheffield banner and detailed proposals are expected soon for Kelham Island, Attercliffe, Neepsend, Darnall and Ecclesall Rd.

Projects in Nether Edge are rumoured to include a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) similar to the one recently introduced in Kelham Island.

This would see filters installed on some roads in the area to eliminate 'rat running'. This reduces air and noise pollution and makes it safer for children to play outside.

All schemes will be paid for out of the £50m allocated to Sheffield from the Transforming Cities Fund and must be completed by March 2023 as a condition of funding.

Anti-loneliness charity Age Better in Sheffield have welcomed the project, tweeting: "Transportation is one of the 8 domains of age friendly cities so it's really promising to see progress like this."

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How Fargate could look.

Sheffield City Council.

Johnstone of CycleSheffield said that while improvements to the city centre are really important, it's also "vital that we improve residential neighbourhoods and connections into the city centre."

"We look forward to seeing the plans for Kelham, Nether Edge, Sharrow, Darnall and Tinsley, as well as the Sheaf Valley route upgrade," he continued.

"Over the next few years there will be exciting changes to the way we travel around our city which we welcome wholeheartedly."

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