Film ID: YFA 3656 Video of YFA_3656 Pedestrians and Traffic PEDESTRIANS AND TRAFFIC 1950 Visitor TabsDescription The film shows traffic and pedestrian movement at two major junctions in Sheffield city centre. It includes motor vehicles and trams and there are images of people during the post-war austerity years. The film begins with views of the High Street/Market Place junction. Fitzalan Square can also be seen. There is still considerable evidence of damage caused by wartime bombing. The streets are busy with traffic and pedestrians, who have to try to avoid the vehicles to cross the road. It is a similar scene at the other end of High Street where more pedestrians are crossing Church Street and Fargate. This is followed by more general views showing Fargate and Church Street, including Cole Brothers store and the Cathedral forecourt. The film returns to High Street/Market Place and then again to Church Street/High Street/Fargate with similar street scenes. At the junction of High Street and Market Place a white-coated policeman is now on duty. Policemen are also on the crossings at the bottom of Fargate and Church Street to control both the traffic and the pedestrians. Backgound: The film is believed to have been made for traffic survey purposes and appears to concentrate on the problem of controlling the flow of pedestrians across two major junctions in the main shopping area of Sheffield. Provenance: Transferred to Sheffield Libraries from the City Council's Publicity Department in 1985. Context This engrossing film transports us back to a time to when cars stopped for pedestrians and not the other way around, when the cars were British-made and pedestrians held their ground. This spectacle of pedestrians going willy-nilly across the busy city centre streets of Sheffield in 1950 may have been filmed for the purposes of traffic control, but, as the camera wanders hither and thither, it has given us a wonderful picture of the days of long grey coats, trilbies, and headscarves. It was also a time of open backed lorries, trams, and policemen in white coats directing all and sundry. While in the throes of clearing up the hefty bomb damage from the war that had ended just five years previously, still in evidence in the film, the city council needed also to deal with the increased traffic. The need for traffic control was apparent. Despite the seeming casualness of the pedestrians displayed here, perhaps surprisingly, the fatality rate per vehicle mileage in 1950 was over 14 times what it was in 2007. Along with the increase in car ownership, petrol rationing ended in 1950, the Highway Code had yet to be introduced (in 1954), and there was a post-war surge of road safety films. The result is a quite different Fitzalan Square, Fargate and Church Street seen here from as they are today.