SHEFFIELD MOTORISTS’ FORUM
Meeting held on 15 December, 2010
PRESENT: Councillor Ian Auckland - Sheffield City Council
Andy Barber - Motorist
Peter Bull Traffic Information and Control, Sheffield
Greg Challis - Transport Planning, Sheffield City Council
Brent Collier - Traffic Information and Control, Sheffield
Tim Hale - Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and
Kevin O’Regan - Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust
Robert Prior - Motorist
Dick Proctor - Transport Planning, Sheffield City Council
Andy Sturrock - Motorist
Haydn Vernals - Motorist
Mick Wardle - Motorist
David Whitley - Transport Planning, Sheffield City Council
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND INTRODUCTION ACTION
a.) Apologies for absence had been received from Cllr Tony
Damms and Mac Millard.
b.) Cllr Auckland welcomed everyone to the Urban Traffic
Control centre at Carbrook.
2. MINUTES OF THE MOTORISTS’ FORUM 23 SEPTEMBER,
a.) The minutes of the Motorists Forum held on 23
September, 2010 were agreed as a correct record.
3. MATTERS ARISING/UPDATE ON ACTIONS
a.) Matters Arising: Cllr Auckland drew members’ attention 3a) Haydn
to the Network Blockages Summit that the Council was Vernals to be
convening on February 24 between 2pm and 4pm. This Motorists Forum
would be looking at how to deal with large vehicle at the Network
breakdowns on the city’s road network. It was agreed Blockages
that Haydn Vernals would represent the Motorists Forum Summit
at this event.
b.) Update on Actions: Responding to Mick Wardle’s point
about how maintenance and repairs should be prioritised
over development of the network, Cllr Auckland said that
the Forum’s intervention had helped to ensure that there
Meeting of Sheffield Motorists Forum 15.12.10 Page 2
was no cut in the maintenance “pot” for next year, despite
the reductions in transport funding that had been
c.) Haydn Vernals asked whether there were sufficient staff
resources to ensure repairs to faulty detection and
associated traffic signal timings. Peter Bull said that as
part of the forthcoming Highways PFI, a programme of
repairs would be devised. This would be determined by
the state of the road surface rather than where detection
4. TRAVEL PLANNING TO ADDRESS CONGESTION IN THE
S10 (HOSPITALS AND UNIVERSITY AREA)
a.) Cllr Auckland welcomed Kevin O’Regan, Hotel Services
Director from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust (the
Trust) to the meeting. The Travel Plan officer from the
University of Sheffield had sent his apologies.
b.) Mr O’Regan began by explaining his job role which
covered all Sheffield Hospitals in the S10 area except the
Children’s Hospital and also included Northern General
c.) The Trust’s Travel Plan had been approved at board level
in 2007 and was now in the process of being refreshed,
with a view to adoption in April / May 2011.
d.) The Travel Plan was widely consulted upon, both within
the Trust and with outside bodies such as community
forums in Broomhill and Burngreave, South Yorkshire
Passenger Transport Executive and Sheffield City
Council. The Trust was happy to share its current draft
e.) Looking at what had been achieved since 2005, the
travel plan had addressed the lack of car parking by
encouraging people to think about how they made their
journeys. This meant improving the quality of information
that was given to patients, visitors and staff.
f.) Particular problems had been experienced at the
Hallamshire and Weston Park Hospital sites. Although a
successful planning application had been made for a
multi storey car park (MSCP) at Weston Park, this had
not been pursued because the Trust Board did not feel it
represented best value and a sound business case.
g.) No additional investment was available to create car
parking spaces at the central campus at present, except
for a small number of spaces at the coach house near
Weston Park Hospital, for which planning permission
would be required.
h.) Significant improvements had been delivered by
Meeting of Sheffield Motorists Forum 15.12.10 Page 3
changing the balance of spaces available, largely by
restricting staff access. This had been welcomed by
patients’ and visitors’ representatives.
i.) The Trust had appointed car park management at a
financial cost, to provide active patrols and monitor the
use of the car parks and potential traffic congestion. At
present there were no charges at the Weston Park car
park, but this was to be reviewed in the 2011/12 financial
j.) If further investment in car parking was to be made, then
increased charges might have to be levied. This was
k.) At the Hallamshire Hospital, there had been some
improvement in the situation, although there were no
additional parking spaces. Numbers of permits issued to
staff had been reduced. Many staff lived under two miles
away and there were good public transport links to the
hospital and work had been undertaken with SYPTE to
offer discounted fares, journey planning advice and a link
to Traveline information from inside the hospital.
l.) Cycling and walking had been encouraged with more
cycle shelters and tax advantages for cycle purchases.
m.) As a result of travel plans the following had been
Single occupancy travel had reduced by 18% to 36.5%
(8% above 2009 target)
Car sharing increased by 6% to 10.5% (0.5% above 2009
Cycling increased by 1% to 3.9% of staff (0.5% above
Public transport increased by 2% to 27.9% (4.5% below
Walking had increased by 4% to 13.7% (3% above 2009
n.) Mr O’Regan (KO’R) then responded to questions from the
Forum. Tim Hale wanted to know why commercial car
park operators could not be persuaded to develop a
multi-storey at Weston Park Hospital to serve the S10
o.) KO’R said that planning permission for a multi-storey had
run out, and although new permission could be sought,
business investors had previously ruled out such a
venture as they saw the profit margins as too low.
p.) Tim Hale asked if the permit parking scheme in the area
had simply pushed the on-street parking further afield,
Meeting of Sheffield Motorists Forum 15.12.10 Page 4
from where staff would “informally” park and ride? What
was being done with bus companies to provide
appropriate services to the hospital?
q.) KO’R said that there was evidence of displaced parking
involving hospital staff and other users, but that people
were free to park where they liked in the absence of
restrictions. Having said that, the hospitals did not wish to
generate additional traffic in adjoining areas, if it could be
avoided. Close liaison took place with SYPTE and
Sheffield City Council on a regular basis, to develop park
and ride services, such as those already offered from
Tesco on Abbeydale Road and Owlerton stadium.
r.) Haydn Vernals said that as a regular visitor until quite
recently, accompanying a patient to the hospital, he felt
the parking situation was “diabolical”. Many people were
taking dependants by car because they could not walk
any distance to speak of. A long-term plan needed to be
developed which considered all possible measures such
as moving the hospital to a new site or demolition and
consolidation of buildings on the existing site.
s.) KO’R said that these were familiar problems facing
hospitals. However, many senior people in the NHS did
not see car parking as a core service. Some problems
could be addressed, for example by staggering visitor
times. But there were no plans for a new hospital in
Sheffield or a new site at present.
t.) Haydn Vernals agreed that hospitals were there to deliver
health services, not car parking, but he wondered what
could be done to involve the private sector more in
providing a solution, for example.
u.) KO’R said that where possible further investment would
be made, for example a proposed new 200 spaces at the
Northern General Hospital. However, even this expansion
would not meet the demand for car parking. Yet Sheffield
was in a better position than many other hospitals, if
comparisons were made elsewhere in the country.
v.) Responding to Tim Hale about a bus link between
hospital sites, KO’R highlighted the H1 service funded by
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals which shuttled between
Northern General and Hallamshire hospitals. This was a
half hourly service, which collected passengers en route
as well as providing an important link for staff.
w.) Robert Prior said that, as a resident who lived close to the
central hospitals, he had witnessed some improvement of
late but the situation remained unsatisfactory from a
motorists’ point of view. Investment was required and
innovative solutions should be used via planning
Meeting of Sheffield Motorists Forum 15.12.10 Page 5
agreements in the future.
x.) KO’R agreed that it was important to learn from mistakes.
An underground car park proposed at the former
Jessop’s Hospital was rejected on costs grounds, and yet
some people had a view that it could now be paying for
y.) Andy Sturrock wondered why park and ride could not also
be provided for visitors and patients where appropriate.
As to the shuttle service, he had not heard of it and he felt
that the information that was given to hospital visitors in
general was lacking in this regard. Mick Wardle added
that it was a shame the link bus wasn’t better promoted,
especially as it was cheaper and offered a friendly service
to its users.
z.) K’OR said that the H1 was a registered service with
timetables and public information available but agreed
that the information offered by hospitals to visitors and
patients was of variable quality.
aa.) Peter Bull asked if new technology could be better
deployed to enable the priority medical cases to park at
the hospital on the basis of need. KO’R replied that the
hospitals were attempting to address this, for example by
priority drop off spaces for disabled people and so on.
However this was a piece of work for the future, alongside
encouraging more sustainable trips to hospital.
bb.) Andy Barber pointed out that car parking charges
could be unfair on those who did not know how long they
were staying and so ended up paying the maximum fee
regardless. He asked if people were overstaying at
Weston Park. KO’R said that the car park was a public
one but since people had been asked to show
appointment letters more spaces had been freed up for
cc.) Mick Wardle said he was somewhat surprised to
learn that the Trust did not see parking as part of its core
service. It should be recognised that there were people
for whom car transport to hospital was the only option. He
suggested that if parking was to be prioritised at
hospitals, then this could be done at the point of referral
dd.) KO’R said that although such a measure may be
possible, he was not aware that it had been adopted
anywhere. It would not be possible for the hospital to
reserve spaces as they did not have the spaces to offer
on this basis. However, active discussions were taking
place with GPs about the nature and type of referrals and
whether they were all necessary.
Meeting of Sheffield Motorists Forum 15.12.10 Page 6
ee.) Concluding the discussion Cllr Ian Auckland said
that whilst the Forum felt more needed to be done for
motorists, it was evident that there were successful
measures in force at the hospitals that encouraged more
sustainable choices. The Forum had highlighted the need
for an improvement in the quality of this information to
people travelling to the hospital and he was sure that Mr
O’Regan would take that message away. Kevin O’
Regan reiterated that he was happy for Forum members
to approach him directly via his email address.
5. ADDITIONAL ITEM – WINTER MAINTENANCE
a) In view of the severe weather over the past month, the ACTION 5i)
Forum agreed to deal with an additional agenda item – Forum to write
an assessment of how the city’s winter maintenance to bus
regime had performed. companies
b) Haydn Vernals opened the discussion. He said that suggesting that
although the media were reporting that all Priority One they offer a
routes were open, the reality was that the Parkway had a
single lane open only. Where single lanes only had been on the main
cleared, for instance, on the approach to roundabouts, roads that are
this constrained capacity. Tim Hale underlined this point. clear in the
A journey from Twentywell Road, Bradway to join the event of bad
motorway had taken an hour for this reason. weather, rather
c) Haydn Vernals added that another example of information than
given to the public being incorrect came from his suspending the
experience of speaking to Street Force. He had reported service
that his street was blocked and been told that a altogether.
snowplough would be sent to clear it within 24 hours. A
week later some grit was dumped on his street. He felt it
was better to be realistic about when such help would be
available, otherwise the public would feel let down.
d) Cllr Auckland said that during the severe weather in
winter 2009/10 Street Force had kept clear all the primary
and secondary routes, some 59% of the network, every
day. This year it had not proved possible to cover the
same amount of ground, simply because of the severity of
the snow and constant freezing temperatures. He agreed
that the clear message which needed to go out was that
the primary network of A and B classified roads would be
cleared first, then the secondary roads and finally the
estates. Even if this meant inconvenience for some, it
made sense to have a priority order of this sort.
e) Cllr Auckland added that vast quantities of grit had been
used and this was now being “bulked out” with sand,
which was acceptable as an additive given the amount of
grit that had already been spread on the road. Snow
wardens had been recruited and issued with salt and
about 60 were active in the scheme with another 60 on
the waiting list. In a new development, in addition to the
Meeting of Sheffield Motorists Forum 15.12.10 Page 7
24 gritters and six smaller gritters, 20 JCBs had been
hired in to help clear snow on the side roads.
f) Peter Bull added that this was the deepest snow on
record, and the Council’s ability to clear it was limited by
the available resources in terms of “men and machines”
not to mention hours in the day. If this resource was used
to clear both lanes on major roads, then fewer secondary
roads would be cleared. However, selectively clearing
wider areas at key junctions and roundabouts would
contribute much to improving traffic flow. There was a
necessity to keep delivery routes to supermarkets open,
especially as they tended to have only 48 hours of
supplies in store.
g) Responding to Andy Barber, Peter Bull confirmed that
gritters operated for 24 hours a day during such weather.
h) Andy Sturrock said it seemed to him that many gritters
were not spreading to the full distance of the carriageway.
Mick Wardle said he had also witnessed ploughing and
gritting being done to short of the full width of the road. He
suggested that next year traffic levels were likely to be
higher, as winter tyres were proving a popular acquisition.
Having said that he had managed to get around on
Sheffield’s main roads without too much difficulty, even
during the worst of the recent weather.
i) On Penistone Road, for example, snow had been down
but the road was passable. This begged the question as
to why buses services had been suspended. As a result
many people had been forced to walk long distances to
work, and some sort of truncated public transport along
the arterial routes, perhaps offering reduced fares, would
have assisted greatly. The bus companies should be
pressured to keep running even if it meant offering a
j) Dick Proctor added that the information about public
transport was also somewhat lacking and at times had
failed to reflect the extent of the service that was still
running. Peter Bull said that Traveline had closed down
and offered only a recorded message which was poor
k) Tim Hale and Peter Bull noted that the police had lifted
tachometer restrictions to assist lorry drivers – a sensible
l) Dick Proctor said that many vehicles had been
abandoned, sometimes in places that blocked the
network. The tow away policy needed to be applied with
some sensitivity, but applied nonetheless.
m) Cllr Auckland said that there were issues to pick up such
as ensuring the best possible distribution of grit bins. The
Council had spent £100,000 per day clearing the snow.
Andy Barber said that this was a small cost if it meant that
industry could keep functioning.
Meeting of Sheffield Motorists Forum 15.12.10 Page 8
DRIVING ME CRAZY -- UDPATE
a.) The written report was noted.
8. LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN (LTP) PROGRAMME 2010/11
a.) Dick Proctor reported that the recent announcement by
the Secretary of State for Transport had confirmed that
the Local Transport Plan (LTP) budget for 2011/12 had
been halved. This would severely limit what it was
possible to deliver next year.
b.) The programme would now be devised and agreed and
put before members (councillors) for approval in the New
Year. Having said that, the Ecclesall Road corridor –
which was the subject of a presentation at this meeting –
would remain a priority for delivery.
ECCLESALL ROAD SMART ROUTE – HUNTERS BAR
TRAFFIC MODELLING AND FUTURE PROPOSALS FOR
a) David Whitley (DW) from Sheffield Council transport ACTION 9n):
planning introduced this item. He explained that the
first consultation about plans for the Ecclesall Road Ecclesall Road
corridor had been undertaken 18 months ago. proposals to be
b) Since that time the financial position had changed, not supplied to
least in the last week. However, it was still intended to Forum members
go ahead with key elements of the Smart Route
although it was not possible to commit immediately to
all the measures that would benefit the corridor.
c) The project focussed on the Ecclesall Road corridor,
from the Moore Street roundabout at the ring road to
as far as the junction with Abbey Lane on Ecclesall
d) One surprise to emerge from the public consultation
was that the section between Psalter Lane and
Carterknowle Road had serious issues caused by
turning vehicles. The plans drawn up sought to
e) The project had identified five priorities – congestion,
safety, road and pavement surfaces, public transport
and road crossing facilities.
f) The five main localities for which measures were
proposed were Hunters Bar, Glen Almond Road,
Moore Street, Rustlings Road – Greystones Road and
Bents Green – Ecclesall Road South.
g) Options were being devised for each of these
locations, plus smaller scale interventions such as
junction improvements such as at Ecclesall Road /
Collegiate Crescent and at the location of the new
Meeting of Sheffield Motorists Forum 15.12.10 Page 9
Marks and Spencers store on the former Gilders site
at the top of Psalter Lane.
h) In order to arrive at solutions AIMSUN traffic
simulation modelling had been used. This looked at
traffic flows and the likely impact of solutions between
Moore Street and Carterknowle Road, from where
traffic started to flow more freely.
i) This showed that improved journey times of around
two minutes were possible. More importantly, journey
time reliability was significantly improved.
j) Much benefit would be derived from work at the Moore
Street roundabout, such as road widening on the
approach on Hanover Way. The meeting would look at
one key intervention in detail, which was at Hunters
k) Brent Collier (BC) from Traffic Information and Control
familiarised the Forum with the AIMSUN computer
software. This was a micro simulation model with a
visual output which represented realistically on screen
how traffic would flow based upon changed road lay-
l) Importantly, the software allowed for the modelling of
individual driver behaviour. Every vehicle in the
simulation had a specific journey with an origination
and destination. The presentation was well received.
m) David Whitley described the proposed removal of two
sections of bus lanes on Ecclesall Road and how the
model had performed “sensitivity testing” to
demonstrate the robustness of the results. He also
referred to the adoptive traffic signal strategy for
Moore Street roundabout.
n) It was agreed to supply a copy of the plans for Forum
reps to consider in their own time. Members were
encouraged to keep involved in the consultation that
was due to start in February 2011.
QUESTIONS / ISSUES RAISED BY FORUM MEMBERS AND
a) Andy Sturrock commented that the work at the Barrow ACTION: future
Road / Meadowhall Road junction had resulted in agenda item
significant improvements to traffic flow. requests
b) In response to Robert Prior about Moorhead junction
and the outbound right turn towards Charter Square, it Dore Park and
was reported that the Council leader had decided that Ride
there should be a public vote on whether this was re- M1 Junction 33
instated. Meanwhile it was intended to unblock an
“escape route” for vehicles to make this right turn in an
c) Tim Hale asked what scope there was for creating
additional park and ride capacity at Meadowhall and
the Lower Don Valley in view of the problems caused
Meeting of Sheffield Motorists Forum 15.12.10 Page 10
by on street parking around Roman Ridge Road. It
was confirmed that SYPTE were leading on review.
d) It was confirmed that Sheffield was bidding to the
Plugged in Places fund in support of electric vehicle
e) An update on proposals for Dore Park and Ride was
requested at a future meeting.
f) An update was also requested on improvements at M1
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, the meeting closed.
TIME AND DATE OF MEETINGS IN 2011
Thursday 17 March 2011
Thursday 16 June 2011
Thursday 15 September 2011
Thursday 15 December 2011