Do Sheffield political parties support Space for Cycling?

We’ve asked the parties standing in the 2016 local election in Sheffield to state whether they support various measures to improve conditions for cycling in Sheffield.

We asked:

As part of the City Council, will you deliver on the commitments Sheffield Council made in 2014 to…

  1. Build high-quality protected space for cyclists on main roads and through junctions?
  2. Implement 20mph zones in all residential areas?
  3. Improve local communities by stopping rat-runs on residential streets whilst leaving them open for people walking and on bikes?
  4. Create safe routes to schools for cycling and walking?

These questions are based on the Space for Cycling campaign aims. For more information see MakingSpaceForCycling.org

We asked the Sheffield Conservative Party, Green Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrat Party, the TUSC and UKIP for a response.

This is what we received:

 

Conservative

 Sheffield Conservatives are committed to improving the provision for cycling and walking within the whole city. This not only improves health it creates greater economic opportunities and improves quality of life for everyone particularly in areas that suffer with poor air quality.

To make sweeping commitments such as this without a dedicated strategy that has been costed and planned will result in inaction and poor quality provision. A council made up of Conservative members would develop a costed and planned strategy to provide much needed and better quality provisions for all road users to enable easy and free movement throughout the city whether this be by Bicycle, bus, car or on foot. None of these forms of transport are mutually exclusive and all need to be considered in any planning.

It is critical that we encourage more children to travel to school by walking, cycling, scootering or skating and it is important that this is done in a safe way, training in school is essential to this along with providing safe routes to and from school.

Education is key to any strategy of this sort not only to guide vehicle users but also to show how alternative forms of transport can be efficiently used to go about daily business. So far provision in Sheffield has been haphazard and not properly planned there are many missed opportunities and we believe that this city provides many opportunities to be innovative in this area to improve movement of citizens and goods.

 Green

As a party we would sign up to the commitments made by the Council in 2014, we are also the only party to suggest increasing transport funding to make all the ideas possible.

There is however, one proviso as the current Sheffield Green Party is for a 20mph limit on all residential streets (excluding main routes). We appreciate this isn’t thoroughly nuanced, but is because defining residential streets is fraught with difficulty, for example the ring through the Manor. However, we would welcome input from Cycle Sheffield in developing a more stringent definition and would be very open to having a longer discussion on this issue.
As an additional statement, we believe that this sums up the view of the Sheffield Green Party: “Walking and cycling should be safer, more convenient and more enjoyable than driving. We feel as a party and through our elected representatives we have a strong record in Sheffield of supporting cycling. Further, we will continue to push for more support and prioritisation for walking and cycling in Sheffield.

 

Labour

Cycling has clear health and environmental benefits, which is why we remain committed to making cycling safer in Sheffield by delivering on the promises we made in 2014.

20mph zones have been delivered in many residential areas and we are on the way to delivering this city-wide.

We will be piloting safe routes to schools for cycling and walking.

We also remain committed to increasing the number of protected spaces for cyclists on main roads and through junctions.

We are confident that our plans will better protect cyclists and increase the number of people cycling in Sheffield.

Liberal Democrat 

  1.  Build high quality protected space for cyclists on main roads and through junctions? As Liberal Democrats, we believe in maximising choice and therefore believe that anyone who chooses to cycle should be able to do so safely. We would like to see more and better cycle lanes, enforcement against cars that park in cycle lanes and through the Streets Ahead project, smoother, safer road surfaces for cyclists.
  1. Implement 20mph zones in all residential areas? We want to make our roads safer, we believe in the importance of local consultation and therefore would want to consult residents before changing speeds limits to 20mph.
  1. Improve local communities by stopping rat-runs on residential streets whilst leaving them open for people walking and on bikes? Again, this is something we think local communities and residents should be consulted before changes are made to road layouts.
  1. Create safe routes to schools for cycling and walking? Yes, we would like to work with local people and communities on the best ways and routes to provide this. We also support and encourage walking buses to school as a way of avoiding car use on the school run.

Additional comments –

The Liberal Democrats are committed to making cycling as accessible and safe as possible.

Whilst in Government coalition, former Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP, Nick Clegg granted £114 million under the Cycling Ambition Cities Programme to fund cities ‘to develop local cycling networks, increase protection for cyclists at junctions and traffic hot spots and help prevent accidents’.

We were very disappointed that Sheffield City Council’s Labour administration, despite being eligible for the first wave of funding, failed to submit a bid. Nearby Manchester and Leeds both received £22 million each.

TUSC

 TUSC councillors would support the commitments made by the Council in 2014 towards a cycle-friendly Sheffield. However, TUSC believes that to deliver on those requires a No Cuts policy. Whilst many of the measures proposed are not in themselves expensive, in a climate of government imposed council funding cuts which unfortunately our City council are not resisting, such cycle-friendly measures are the ‘easiest’ to cut and are likely therefore to be cancelled or delayed.

A good example is the continued cuts to bus services by First and Stagecoach but endorsed by the Council. This has continued the trend of reduced bus passenger numbers and increased car traffic, which only adds to the congestion, pollution and dangers faced by cyclists and further putting off other would be cyclists.

TUSC supports the Sheffield No Cuts Peoples Budget proposed this year by a coalition of trade unions and community groups. This alternative budget involved the use of reserves to not make cuts in 2016-17, as a first step in a campaign with other local authorities to force central government to concede the funding needed to maintain the jobs and services we so desperately need. Within that 10 point Peoples Budget was a commitment to oppose cuts to South Yorkshire Passenger Transport.

TUSC councillors would work with CycleSheffield and local community organisations to work out a fully-costed comprehensive cycle-friendly policy, and include that within any alternative budget, and encourage CycleSheffield and others to become actively involved in a city wide campaign to win the funding necessary to deliver on such commitments.

 UKIP

You may be aware that it is not UKIP policy to give out pre-election endorsements to any pressure group or organisation. However, if you examine the past Minutes of Council Meetings you will see that in the past, UKIP have always supported improving conditions for cycling in Sheffield.

One thought on “Do Sheffield political parties support Space for Cycling?”

  1. 20’s plenty for Sheffield would like to be involved in any discussions with the Green Party about exact definitions of the extent to which the 20mph default speed limit should be implemented.

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