A pedestrianised Division Street – would it work?

Sheffield residents have spoken about their desire for a pedestrianised Division Street after a concept sketch went viral yesterday.

Sam Wakeling, a concept designer based in Sheffield, posted the sketch on Twitter yesterday to an unexpectedly enthusiastic response.

Mr Wakeling’s idea involved planting trees on the street as well as introducing bollards, so only bicycles and pedestrians could travel down the road.

Cycle Sheffield

Despite the costs involved in implementing the proposed changes, he has expressed hope that council leaders will take notice of his idea.

He said: “I’m really pleased to see thousands of Sheffielders getting behind a very simple idea to transform Division Street from somewhere dominated by vehicles to a welcoming place for people.

“I’d love to see a wide-ranging set of changes like this across Sheffield to help people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities be able to cycle and walk more while doing their daily business.”

Mr Wakeling is also keen to emphasise the importance of pedestrianised streets as part of a wider climate emergency response, as they could encourage city residents to travel on foot or cycle more frequently.

The benefits are not just environmental – according to research by Transport for London (TfL), safely pedestrianised streets can increase retail spend by up to 30%.

But Jason, an industrial cleaner whose clients include a number of businesses on Division Street, relies on being able to drive along the road so he can transport his equipment from door to door.

He said: “I think pedestrianizing the street would make it a lot harder for people like me as an industrial cleaner.

“You’re at the top of town here. The bottom of town is already pedestrianized, which makes it easier for people. If you pedestrianize it up here, that’s it.”

Sheffield City Council have not yet responded to Mr Wakeling’s suggestions.