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Living Streets: Sheffield to experiment with road closure pilots

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The project could see quieter streets closed to traffic.

Sheffield Council have announced plans to pilot road closures to reduce air pollution.

The ruling Labour group have said they will pilot three types of road closure.

'School Streets' would see roads outside schools closed at pick-up and drop-off times.

'Play Streets' are a resident-led scheme where roads are closed for a set period of time.

We are looking at launching a number of pilot projects to trial these ideas

'Living Streets' would see some roads closed completely.

"These are all ideas local people have been coming forward with and there is a big appetite to see us create a cleaner, less congested and safer environment in our neighbourhoods across the city," said Council Leader Julie Dore.

In April, designer Sam Wakeling released a mock-up of a pedestrianised Division Street. It proved popular online with residents, cyclists and local businesses.

"We are looking at launching a number of pilot projects to trial these ideas," said Cabinet Member for Transport and Development Bob Johnson.

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"It is important that we get the right locations where people feel that this would work for their community."

He continued: "We will be developing more details around these pilots but would encourage any local community who would like to see these schemes in their area to get in touch and we can speak to them about their potential inclusion."

When asked about a timescale, Cllr Johnson said on Twitter that he wanted to "get this moving sooner rather than later."

London boroughs including Hackney and Southwark have pioneered School Streets schemes. For Clean Air Day on 20 June, Sheffield Council closed roads outside two schools for the day.

It is important that we get the right locations where people feel that this would work for their community

In December, Clean Air In Sheffield delivered a School Streets petition with 1,528 signatures to the Council. The group finally received a response from Cllr Johnson on 12 June.

In the response, he confirmed that the Council are looking at introducing School Streets schemes where feasible.

The Council have also opened a consultation on the introduction of a Clean Air Zone in January 2020.

According to the NHS, 500 people in Sheffield die prematurely as a result of air pollution every year.

Sam Gregory

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