Story: Rohan Francis
Work is underway to prepare Spital Hill for increased traffic as Tesco's Burngreave store begins to take shape.
Changes are proposed for the length of road outside the Tesco from the junction with Savile Street to the East House pub. The plans include a new lane for Tesco customers, which will allow shoppers driving down Spital Hill to turn in to the store's car park. The pedestrian crossing will be relocated slightly lower down the hill, and a new cycle lane will be created on the uphill side.
The Spital Hill entrance will provide an alternative to the main customer access on Savile Street, which the developers hope will “reduce the load on traffic and the new relief road”. In order to make these changes possible the existing pavement on the opposite side to the Tesco store will be narrowed by at least 500mm to provide the width needed for the extra lane. The Council's planning department defended this action saying that although the pavement will be narrower the existing tarmac surface will be replaced with higher quality paving materials like those on the Wicker.
The Messenger talked to pedestrians and shop workers about the plans. One woman said,
“People who live nearby use the path to walk to town. There are lots of people with prams – it's the busiest side of the road.”
A shopkeeper echoed this view saying,
“It's busy with people walking to town on this side of the road.”
Others were more concerned about parking. Staff at Face Lift Barbers on Spital Hill complained that since construction work began on Tesco their customers had nowhere to park.
A local cyclist welcomed the plan to include a cycle lane as currently the uphill lane isn't wide enough for large vehicles to safely pass a cyclist without pulling into the oncoming lane.
Work on the Tesco superstore is currently ahead of schedule and may be ready before the target opening date of 21st November 2011.