Sheffield City Council appear to have completed the Rock Street bus stop improvements which serve the new Astrea Academy Sheffield on the old Pye Bank School site. These improvements are accompanied by new traffic light controlled pedestrian crossings on Rutland Road (near the junction with Wood Fold) and Pitsmoor Road (near Pye Bank Road). There are also a number of new dropped kerbs with tactile paving to facilitate pedestrian crossing on Rock Street and Nottingham Street.
The new puffin crossings are a great safety improvement, although the Rutland Road one is unlikely to get much use. But still the very busy and difficult Minna Road and Pitsmoor Road crossings remain uncontrolled for pedestrians despite the recent upgrade to the traffic lights.
However, the improvements leave a number of things to be desired in terms of safety, comfort and litter. The new dropped kerbs have no double yellow lines and therefore there is no enforcement possible. Drivers have already been blocking them (when not using the drop for a smooth ride onto the pavement). This completely undermines the investment that the council has made to install them and impedes safe crossing.
The large junction between Rock, Nottingham and Catherine streets often has many parked cars on the curve and would also benefit from parking restrictions to facilitate visibility at the junction – often crossed through the middle rather than at the blocked dropped kerbs.
Still nothing has been done to stop vehicles from the grassed area between Andover Street and Rock Street, meaning that those white vans will continue to drive over it and over the pavement next to the old bus shelter, damaging the new tactile paving in the same way as they have damaged the path leading to the buildings.
Despite the new school being designed for 1,200 pupils, the improvements have not included rubbish bins anywhere – let alone at the two main bus stops. This despite street litter being a serious problem on Rock Street.
Finally, there are no new bus shelters – just new bus stop posts. This all adds up to another half-hearted safety and bus improvement.
Yours Nico Hall
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