Northumberland Road highway improvements

The University is proposing changes to Northumberland Road to make it safer and more pleasant for cyclists and pedestrians

Northumberland Road proposed changes


As part of the new Social Sciences building development, we are proposing some changes to part of Northumberland Road - between the entrance to Sport Sheffield Goodwin Sports Centre and Whitham Road (the A57).

The University has received feedback and comments from the local community, staff, students and others, and will now review its  plans appropriately. We will then submit the proposal and Sheffield City Council will conduct a formal consultation.

We recommend watching the video below which gives you an overview of the scheme. Comprehensive FAQs are also available to read on this webpage. Please note that some visuals have been updated and the latest versions can be downloaded in the 'Further information' section.

Summary of our proposal:

  • We would like to make the section of Northumberland Road - from the entrance of Sport Sheffield Goodwin Sports Centre to Whitham Road - one-way for all motor vehicles, with traffic travelling towards the A57.
  • Currently the junction with Whitham Road is very wide and is difficult for pedestrians to cross. We would like to add a pedestrian island for safer crossing and tactile pavement to help people with visual impairments.
  • In our plans, there are two additional raised 'tabletop' crossings, one of which is from the Elmfield building across Northumberland Road to help safer access to the rear of the new Social Sciences building.
  • We propose to add a contraflow cycle lane and widen the pavement to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. 
  • We would like to add a right-turn cycle refuge on Whitham Road.
  • We would like to retain the parking bays on Northumberland Road, and widen the pavement.
  • As part of this scheme, we would like to narrow the 'ghost island' (white diagonal lines) on Whitham Road, which will allow cars to move more smoothly past any queuing for Weston Park Cancer Centre.

We think these changes will improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and the wider community when travelling by foot or cycle around the area.

Further information

Here are the key documents:

Our feedback form closed on 18 October 2021

Following this initial public engagement, we will review our plans where appropriate. Sheffield City Council's highways team will run a formal consultation process where you will also have the opportunity to feedback.

With Covid-19 cases still high in Sheffield, we ran this consultation online.

Feedback form


The junction of Northumberland Road and Whitham Road is dangerous to cross for pedestrians. How are you proposing to make this safer?

We’re proposing that Northumberland Road becomes one way so pedestrians will find it easier to cross. A two-metre wide island will help pedestrians seeking refuge when crossing the road and tactile pavement will support people with visual impairments.

Pedestrians can also access Whitham Road by using the footpath at the rear of the Social Sciences building on Northumberland Road which will be free of traffic and a pleasant walk, with trees and a pocket park.

We are mindful that cars have to wait for some time to pull out onto Whitham Road, and sometimes roll back before conducting their hill start. We are reviewing the design to minimise risk to those crossing Northumberland Road.

How will changing a section of Northumberland Road to one-way make this road safer?

One way traffic will make crossing the road easier for pedestrians. Vehicles are also less likely to speed past the parking bays when not facing oncoming traffic.

Adding additional crossings has been raised multiple times in previous consultations about this stretch of road - we’re proposing two, in addition to the provision of a two-metre wide pedestrian island at the junction with Whitham Road which will also enable safer crossing.

The additional crossings we’re proposing are ‘table-top’ style - raised slightly from the road, thus acting as a speeding deterrent. Their positioning aligns with the new entrances and exits to the Social Sciences building.

Cyclists also benefit from a safe access route, and refuge on Whitham Road.

Are you removing any parking bays on Northumberland Road?

The length of the space allowed for on-street parking will be reduced slightly to accommodate the cycling lane. However this should not affect the number of cars able to park.

How are you improving pedestrian access as part of this scheme?

We are proposing to widen the pavement on the Sports Centre side of the road, to better accommodate higher numbers of pedestrians.

We are also proposing to extend the footpath on the Social Sciences building side of the road - those traveling by foot will be able to use the pedestrian entrances for the new building to walk safely from Whitham Road to the Marlborough Road crossing. This route is shown with a purple dotted line on the download available above 'Annotated Plan of Proposed Changes'.

How are you improving this section of road for cyclists?

A painted contraflow cycle lane, developed in conjunction with Sheffield City Council officers, earmarks a space for cyclists travelling up towards Marlborough Road.

A cycle refuge on Whitham Road has been included in our proposed designs. Though it was desirable to include an island to protect cyclists, our transport consultants have conducted a swept path analysis which has proven that it is unfortunately not possible to integrate this into the design.

Part of this section of Northumberland Road is prone to flooding. How are you addressing this issue?

We continue to report the frequent flooding on Northumberland Road to Yorkshire Water, whose sewerage causes the issue. This problem is not related to the University’s estate or building works.

I live on a nearby road and I am worried about the proposed one-way system. Is this going to mean an increase in traffic on residential roads?

Our consultants have modelled the effect of proposed changes in the area - this data was collected in autumn 2018. If approved, working with Sheffield City Council Highways, we will monitor traffic levels after the changes to Northumberland Road to ensure these are in line with expectations.

An Aimsun traffic model was set up to model the effect proposed one-way scheme on Northumberland Road would have on the adjacent road network. The model extended beyond Northumberland Road to understand how the diverted traffic would affect junctions further afield, i.e. such as those on Crookes Valley Road. The model extents and the base data was agreed with Sheffield City Council.

The modelling work undertaken showed no significant impacts on the junctions along with the traffic was diverted. The modelling work also showed no detrimental impact on the bus services in the area.

Eastbound on Marlborough Road is being used more during the PM peak with the scheme in place. The results indicate that this movement is increased slightly by 14 vehicles, less than four extra every 15 minutes.

The summary of traffic modelling and table below demonstrate the findings.

Change in traffic flows as a result of the one-way proposal:

The one-way scheme is proposed between the junction of Whitham Road and Marlborough Road in a south east direction. Based on traffic data obtained in October 2018 it has been determined that the one-way scheme would result in the diversion of approximately 89 vehicles in the AM peak period (08:00 to 09:00) and approximately 168 vehicles in the PM peak hour (17:00 to 18:00).

The distribution of these vehicles is based on the origin of the vehicles accessing Northumberland Road. From the surveys undertaken it was established that approximately one-third of traffic entering Northumberland Road came from the south west and two-thirds came from the north east.

The table below has been produced to show the flow differences on some of the streets in the vicinity of the scheme. The modelling work undertaken showed the difference in flows in each direction, the table below summarises the overall change in flows:

Road name AM peak flow difference PM peak flow difference
Marlborough Road 5 14
Moor Oaks Road 5 14
Crookes Road 6 18
Crookesmoor Road (south of Northumberland Road) 0 6
Northumberland Road (north of Marlborough Road) 24 *
Whitham Road (east of Northumberland Road) -35 -55
Brook Hill -54 -60
Bolsover Street 14 83
Crookes Valley Road 22 82
Crookesmoor Road (north of Northumberland Road) 40 88
Mushroom Lane 1 1

* figure not available from the modelling report

It should be noted that the traffic flow changes combined to not add up to the diverted traffic figures. For example, the traffic on Bolsover Street will flow into Crookes Valley Road and then onto Crookesmoor Road, therefore, by adding the numbers you will have counted the same vehicle 3 times.

It should also be noted that the diverted traffic from Northumberland Road would have passed though this section of road for destinations beyond in the residential estates. This is also reflected in the numbers above.

What consultation has taken place with local residents and organisations about these proposals?

We have already consulted with residents about potential changes to the road (January 2020). Now we are contacting residents and stakeholders again with detailed plans and asking for feedback.

We have also spoken directly to Museums Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and BBEST, detailing our plans and asking for feedback.

What is the full consultation process for this proposal?
  • Our plans have been submitted and commented on by Sheffield City Council.
  • This webpage is the hub for the University's month-long public engagement around our proposed scheme. You can submit any comments or questions via the form (linked above) and, where requested, we will repsond to you.
  • We will consider all feedback and address our plans appropriately.
  • Following this public engagement, the University will formally submit a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for the scheme. Sheffield City Council has advised that they will produce and deliver a formal consultation leaflet to nearby residents and will develop a webpage where all can provide comment.
  • After both the public engagement and formal consultation are complete, we will make any necessary design amendments.
  • Sheffield City Council will then take the scheme and consultation responses to the highways committee for formal approval.
  • Once approved the detailed design is undertaken and agreed with the council as part of a Section 278 agreement.
When will the University’s car park on Northumberland Road be reinstated and the temporary modular teaching village be removed?

Due to a delay in the completion of the new Social Sciences building, we applied for a planning extension on the Social Sciences modular teaching village, which is on the former Northumberland Road car park.

This extension was granted until 2024 and our current plans are to revert this back to a car park when possible.

The former Psychology building has been demolished. What are you doing with the site?

Plans are paused on a new building for this site whilst the University reviews its finances.

I am concerned about private coaches for student residences parking on local roads. What is the University doing to help?

The coaches are operated by private student accommodation companies in the city. We have reached out to these operators to ask them to park responsibly and not to leave their engine running.

We have also requested that SYPTE assists with providing safe stopping spaces.

Coaches parking outside Goodwin Sports Centre take up significant space. Are you making any improvements?

Sport Sheffield have made improvements to how coaches access the facility and will continue to encourage services to move on to dedicated waiting areas away from the city centre as soon as they have finished dropping off.

Students outside engineering buildings

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