Many changes are taking place across Sheffield in order to enable Social Distancing. With certain lockdown measures being lifted across the country, many shops, businesses and services are starting to reopen. Here’s a guide on new measures and how to get around.
Sheffield City Centre Social Distancing
Yellow paint lines mark out new ‘thoroughfares’ on some of Sheffield’s most popular streets. These indicate where you should walk in order to get from place to place. Notably, these markings are prominent throughout Fargate and The Moor.
Inside of the walkways (central areas) is for moving around. Conversely, the outsides of these lanes (nearest the buildings) is reserved for queuing.
Whilst in the central clearways pedestrians are asked to observe social distancing and keep two metres apart. You should also keep moving in these areas.
When you reach your destination, simply move out of the priority pathway and join the relevant queue, maintaining social distancing.
Floor stickers mark out socially distanced queuing spots
Retailers have worked with Sheffield City Council on plans for ensuring social distancing in and around shops and businesses.
Shops will operate strict capacities and distancing measures within the stores, including one-way systems. This means you may be required to queue outside until it is safe to get around the store.
“Ideally, the return to the city centre will be gradual. We need people to come back in a measured way. We urge people to plan their visit, check in advance that the stores they want to go to are open, and above all be patient and responsible.”Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID Manager
If you’re asked to queue outside, stickers on the floor will mark out where you should stand. Each has been spaced out to ensure distancing can be maintained whilst waiting to get inside.
You’re asked to stand at the first available floor sticker. Move forward to the next sticker when that person has moved forward and it becomes free.
Hygiene, Hand Washing and Contactless payments
Shops and businesses have also introduced new hygiene measures. Hand sanitising stations may be set up at entrances and exits to buildings. Some businesses may require you sanitise and/or wear a mask before entering.
It is also advised to carry your own hand sanitiser and use it each time you enter and exit a new place.
“Social distancing prompts have been installed across the city centre and whether it’s for work or to shop, I must ask everyone visiting to adhere to the guidelines set out by the Government. It may feel like normality is resuming in some areas of life, but we must not become complacent in protecting ourselves from Coronavirus.”Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council
Retailers will be regularly cleaning high-contact surfaces. You should keep contact with surfaces to a minimum and avoid touching any items you don’t intend to buy.
Many retailers will be operating ‘cashless’ and may only accept contactless payments.
Council workers will additionally be regularly cleaning public areas, including hand rails and benches. Hand sanitiser stations will be available across the city centre.
In the absence of many private facilities being available, temporary toilets have been installed in the Peace Gardens area. The Moor Market toilets will also be open and regularly maintained.
Sheffield City Centre gearing up for the big retail revival next Monday 15th of June. Will shoppers ever return in their droves is the big question? @sheffcitycentre pic.twitter.com/k5soZfjstX— Andy Kershaw (@andyksheffield) June 10, 2020
Note that many facilities — for example, the Winter Gardens — remain closed. Please check your destination is open before setting off.
Closed roads, wider pavements and pedestrianised areas
A number of road closures have been put in place across Sheffield City Centre.
A section of Division Street is now closed to traffic (from the Frog and Parrot to Great Gatsby). Additionally, portions of pavement on the open sections of Division Street have been widened to help you maintain social distance.
Pinstone Street is closed to traffic from Surrey Street to Cross Burgess Street. Between Cross Burgess Street and Furnival Gate road traffic will be closed southbound (meaning no exit to Furnival Gate). Consequently, the southbound carriageway will be given over to pedestrians to assist with social distancing.
Leopold Street is closed to traffic in the direction from Church Street towards the Town Hall. Bus stops here will be given over to pedestrians to help maintain social distancing. In the opposite direction, Barkers Pool to Church Street remains open. However, of course no U-turning will be allowed at the mini-roundabout to head back towards the Town Hall.
Surrey Street will be closed at the Fargate end, so will operate two-ways to allow cars to turn and exit.
Other roads are affected throughout the City Centre. More information is available at the Sheffield City Council website.
Several bus routes moved
Many of the road closures affect public transport through Sheffield City Centre too. A number of Bus services are affected.
Buses that would normally stop at Pinstone Street will be redirected. Services entering the city centre from West Street are diverted down Carver Street to Charter Row, with new stops along that route.
Similarly, bus services usually coming to Pinstone Street via High Street/Church Street are diverted along Arundel Gate to Furnival Gate, with stops along that route.
Other bus services may be affected or reduced. Before setting off please check the Travel South Yorkshire website for the latest details.
Meanwhile, face coverings must now be worn on public transport.
Sheffield City Centre car parking
Motorists should note a number of changes to car parking around the city centre. Sheffield City Council are currently advising travelling into the city by car or public transport as a last resort. Walking or cycling are preferred options.
Areas where pavements have been widened will be closed for traffic or parking. For example, much of Division Street will now have parking restrictions to give way to socially distancing pedestrians.
Council car parks will be operating as normal.
Avoid busy times
Sheffield City Council are advising people who need to travel through the city centre to do so at quieter times.
Therefore, the best times to get around are between 9am-11am and 3pm-5pm.
Meadowhall’s ‘keep left’ and traffic light system
Similarly, Meadowhall Shopping Centre are introducing a number of social distancing measures in the complex.
Firstly, Meadowhall will be enforcing two-metre social distancing throughout the centre. This means at busy times you may be asked to wait in designated areas outside.
Several car parks will be closed. Other car parks may also be temporarily closed at busier times.
Likewise, entrances and exits into the centre may be closed, or be operating only one-way.
Throughout the shopping centre, people are asked to ‘keep left’, with signs and floor stickers designating the direction of travel. Subsequently, designated ‘crossing points’ are signposted to indicate where you can change direction.
Shops will largely be operating on a similar basis to those in the city centre as above. However, most stores are trialling a new red and green traffic light system. Sign boards outside the shop will indicate whether or not you can currently enter: green for yes, red for no.
If a store can’t currently accommodate more people you are asked to continue moving and to return to the shop later. No queuing is allowed.
Food & Drink
Food and drink operators are still restricted from allowing people to stay and consume on the premises.
However, many are reopening to operate a take-away service. Again, social distancing should be maintained whilst ordering and waiting.
In Meadowhall, the Oasis seated dining area remains closed. Whilst food is available at several outlets, no food or drink is to be consumed within the centre.
In short, a common sense approach is required when getting around Sheffield during these times. Should you be feeling unwell, advice remains to stay home and self-isolate.
If everyone tries to maintain social distancing of two metres the city will be a safer place for all. At times you may need a little more time or patience as everyone adapts to these new measures.
Most of all though, please stay safe. “Be smart. Stay Apart,” and we’ll all get through this together.
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