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Walking and cycling: Temporary arrangements announced for Sheffield

A range of temporary interventions have been announced to support walking and cycling in Sheffield during the coronavirus crisis.

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Division Street during last year's trial traffic closure.

These include the pedestrianising of Division Street between Eldon Street (The Forum) and Carver Street (Sa-kis), as well as reducing the wait time for pedestrians at crossings.

Footpaths will be widened on stretches of Chesterfield Road, Charles Street and Union Street, and around pharmacies on Wadsley Lane and Dykes Hall Road.

"I'm extremely pleased that we have been able to put the first phase of our temporary active travel measures into action," said Councillor Bob Johnson, Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability.

"These initiatives will mean people can exercise at a safe social distance whilst they enjoy travelling around our city with significantly reduced traffic."

Councillors have said further measures will be introduced in later phases, and are encouraging members of the public to suggest locations for active travel interventions on their interactive map.

"We welcome this first step in implementing trial infrastructure to enable people to travel actively and exercise while following social distancing rules," Dexter Johnstone of Cycle Sheffield told Now Then.

"The government expects councils to make significant changes to road layouts to give more space to people cycling and walking, and so we hope to see the introduction of much more in the coming weeks. We urge the council to be as ambitious as possible."

Independent businesses on Division Street including EYEYE and Moonko have long called for it to be closed to traffic, and last October the Council carried out a trial road closure.

Cities around the world have opened up space for pedestrians and cyclists during the pandemic, as car use plummets and health experts emphasise the need for social distancing.

Several London boroughs have accelerated plans to install new bike lanes and create low-traffic neighbourhoods, after the government announced new funding for active travel.

"I welcomed the government's announcement of £2bn for cycling and walking over the weekend, which supports both our intentions to expand and develop our temporary plans to cover more locations in the city, and our long-term ambition to make active travel the transport of choice for people in Sheffield," said Cllr Johnson.

"We are using this opportunity to support as many people as possible to make lasting changes to their daily routines that will have a positive impact on their health and our environment."

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