I recently sent a letter to people in Greenhill asking for their views on the planned 20mph zone in the area. The vast majority of respondents supported the idea, but there were some reservations which I've brought up in my response to the Council's consultation, which closed last Friday. You can read my submitted response below.
Mr Simon Nelson
Transport, Traffic and Parking Services
Sheffield City Council
15 March 2017
Dear Mr Nelson,
Re: Proposed 20mph speed limit for Meadowhead and Greenhill
Further to the consultation opening last month, I have spoken with numerous constituents in relation to the Council’s proposals for a 20mph speed limit at Meadowhead and Greenhill. I have encouraged all residents to submit their comments directly to the Council, but also wanted to share with you the main points raised with myself.
It is fair to say that just over 80% of those I have corresponded with are in favour of the 20mph – advising that cars currently speed up and down the area, in particular using Greenfield Road as a cut-through from Chesterfield Road and Greenhill Avenue. One individual commented that the whole of Greenfield Road should be included in the proposals because of this. Local residents also raised concerns about motorbikes and off-road bikes speeding up and down the area.
That being said, it was felt by many respondents who support the proposals that without proper enforcement of the 20mph area it would simply be a waste of money and resources. One individual raised concerns that putting in the new signs would mean disturbing the freshly laid paths, and several raised concerns about the effectiveness of the zone without enforcement – citing the nearby Lowedges 20mph zone as an example which is felt to be ineffective and ignored, due to non-enforcement. In addition, one resident in favour of the proposals raised their concern about signs and bright road markings making the street look more urban – and wonders if it would be possible to make them sympathetic and in keeping with the area.
Numerous residents in the area raised concerns about the current problems around Greenhill School – not only the speed of cars but of the inconsiderate and sometimes illegal way that cars park, particularly at dropping-off and picking-up time. I understand that the Council are aware of this problem, including it in the leaflet delivered in the area, but it was expressed to me that if these ‘parking violations’ are not enforced or managed, the 20mph limit could be similarly ineffective.
There was a mixed response to the proposals for a part-time limit around the school, with some expressing favour and others the feeling that it should be at all times as the area includes also a GP surgery, the library and is a bus route.
Further, one respondent commented about the bend outside of St Thomas of Canterbury School, on the corner of Chancet Wood Drive and Chancet Wood View – feeling strongly that this ‘blind corner’ should be restricted to 20mph at all times.
Although by-and-large residents I have spoken with have welcomed the proposals, some feel that it should be only around the schools and not on the side roads. Others have commented that the limit should not be in place along Hemper Lane – a wide road on which it is felt that anyone doing 20mph would be overtaken by other cars, creating a potentially dangerous situation. One respondent commented that the volume of traffic in the area already lowers speed – and that lower speeds increase air pollution. In addition, one resident commented that included the A61 will cause chaos in rush hour, on a stretch of road which “is bad enough as it is”.
I would like to thank you for including all of the above points with the comments you have no doubt received directly from local residents and would be most grateful if you could keep me informed of the outcome of the consultation.
Louise Haigh MP