A bumpy ride

Story by Jennifer McKiernan

Humps and road narrowing may finally be introduced on Grimesthorpe Road and Carwood Road, six years after residents began lobbying Sheffield City Council for trafficcalming measures.

The first letter of complaint was sent on 29th January 2000. Since then, three petitions with nearly a hundred names on have been handed in, and countless letters and phone calls made.

Despite the 30mph limit, drivers speed along Grimesthorpe Road and around a steep bend onto Carwood Road at up to 60mph. Monitoring in 2003 found that 26% of drivers were breaking the speed limit. The roads are used as a rat-run by commuters during rush-hour and a race-track at night, said Pat Eckhardt of Grimesthorpe Road: "Late at night, as well, you can literally hear cars taking off."

Head wounds

"They overtake on the bend. You just stand waiting for the crash," said Grimesthorpe Road resident Jackie Willoughby. There have been nine accidents on Grimesthorpe Road and eleven on Carwood Road. Jackie added:

"There have been overturned cars; a man with his legs trapped in the steering wheel and a lot of very near misses.We've seen a lot of head wounds. One man this November was bleeding profusely from a gash on his head."

Six residents' vehicles have been damaged in the past year. Jackie's car and her husband's van were both written off in one crash: "He hit the van so hard it was pushed up over the kerb and onto the pavement," said Jackie.

Pat's dog has been knocked down on the road and a cat was killed four weeks ago. "This is a road used by schoolchildren to cross over for Fir Vale Secondary," said Pat.

A lamppost has been knocked down and a new disabled ramp was destroyed by a drunk driver. A chevron sign, put up to warn drivers of the steep bend, has been knocked down and replaced three times now. "Each time we make it bigger!" said Jackie.

"We believe they will wait until someone is badly injured or even killed," said Pat.

Councillors blame the six-year delay on funding problems. "Funding was approved in April 2005, but a year later, nothing has been done," said Pat.

Too much talking

Inadequate draft plans were responsible for delays: "They completely ignored the bend between 374 and 432 Grimesthorpe Road where the main problem is." Said Jackie: "There's no point in them narrowing the road further up, because drivers can see straight down, and if there's no other traffic they'll just put their foot down. We need something physical to stop them speeding round the bend."

"They do a lot of talking, but are not so good at doing anything about it," said Pat. "Councillor Hussein said something would be decided at the last meeting, but that was cancelled."

The meeting has been rearranged for 6th April, when residents hope that the application will be approved and work can begin as soon as possible.

Pat concluded: "If we don't get this extra funding, then I don't know. Some have threatened to barricade the road - the Council aren't keen on that idea!"

The Grimesthorpe road safety scheme could not be funded by the Council because it is not classed as a priority, but in 2005 it became part of Burngreave New Deal's Transport Strategy - a £1 million project, funded by New Deal and the Council, to improve road safety in the area.

Recent delays have been caused by the unexpected increase in cost of the Grimesthorpe scheme, from £200,000 to £315,000, because drainage has to be added to the road.

New Deal must decide in April if this scheme should be prioritised over other schemes, such as pedestrian crossings at the junction of Minna Road and Pitsmoor Road. The proposal to be discussed reduces the number of schemes to be funded from nine to six.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Julia Shergold on 2007-07-06 11:39:53.
The content of the page was last modified by Jamie Marriott on 2016-10-25 00:06:36.

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