A £3m improvement scheme on one of Sheffield’s busiest arterial roads is entering its final phase.
Work to extend a peak-time bus lane on Chesterfield Road is nearly finished and Sheffield City Council’s highways contractor, Amey, is getting ready to start re-surfacing the road.
As part of the Streets Ahead programme that oversees long-term investment in the city’s road network, Amey engineers will spend the next few weeks upgrading the culvert which carries Meers Brook beneath the road before re-surfacing starts in August.
Once complete, road users will be able to enjoy a brand new smooth road surface with an extra lane for traffic heading into Sheffield, although at peak times the extra lane will be for the exclusive use of buses.
Working in partnership with Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive the scheme will help to boost bus reliability and reduce journey times – an issue that local people said was one of the main reasons they did not use public transport.
In order to minimise the overall disruption to drivers and the local community, a number of other essential pieces of highway work will be completed on Chesterfield Road during the completion of the bus lane scheme.
Network Rail was also given access to do some structural work on a bridge.
Chesterfield Road is expected to re-open fully to traffic in early September, although there will be some additional work on barriers and handrails until the end of September.
Around £2.3m of funding was invested as part of the Sheffield Bus Partnership Agreement and Better Bus Area Fund.
Cabinet member for transport and development at Sheffield City Council, Councillor Jack Scott said: “Working with our partners in the Buses for Sheffield partnership we have invested £3.3m of Better Bus Area funding into the Chesterfield Road scheme. Schemes like this improve the flow of bus services, reduce congestion and make our city better to get around. I’m so pleased to see it nearing completion now.
“We know that reliability is a major issue and so, it’s vital that buses remain on schedule wherever possible, particularly during rush hour, so that people who rely on them can arrive in good time. The new scheme and road surface will certainly help with that.”
The bus lane improvements are supported by the Sheffield Bus Partnership, comprising bus operators First Group, TM Travel, Stagecoach and Sheffield Community Transport, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Sheffield City Council.
As well as tackling congestion, extra road capacity on this busy section of network will help improve access to local businesses. It will also contribute to a reduction in vehicle emissions caused by queuing traffic.
Cabinet member for environment and street scene at Sheffield City Council, Councillor Lewis Dagnall said: “As part of the Streets Ahead highway improvement programme, the resurfacing of Chesterfield Road will take place in coming weeks and will ensure a smoother and safer surface for all road-users, especially cyclists.
“The road is a main route into the city centre and is used by commuters and residents on a daily basis so it’s important that the resurfacing is completed to a high standard following other essential highway improvement works.
“I’d like to thank residents and commuters for their patience in recent months and hope that they will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of the newly laid surface.”
The project is not the first key bus route to be upgraded by Amey. In 2015, an outbound bus lane was installed on Penistone Road to help make public transport across the city more attractive.
Resurfacing work on Chesterfield Road will be undertaken during the night to minimise disruption during peak travel times. Local residents and businesses have been informed.