CycleSheffield 2016 AGM report

CycleSheffield: AGM annual report 2016

Introduction

This short report aims to highlight the achievements of CycleSheffield during the past year.

None of this work would happen without the dedication of a small band of volunteers who tirelessly support CycleSheffield. From marshalling at an event, to processing membership to attending strategy meetings with the Council, volunteers make it happen. On behalf of all members, I would like to thank these volunteers for their support.

I do hope that you enjoying reading this report and will continue to encourage CycleSheffield to campaign for a cycle-friendly Sheffield.

Ian Carey, Chair

Campaigning

Tramtrack accidents

A great deal of good work has highlighted the high rate of cycling accidents on the tram network and has received good media coverage, including BBC Look North. 320 accidents have been reported to us since January 2015, a rate of some 18 each month. We have pushed Sheffield City Council to release its much delayed report into the problem. Once we saw how weak it was, we were successful in lobbying them to postpone its adoption until we were able to make recommendations on how to improve it.

Our main argument continues to be that while the tram network is a great contribution to sustainable transport, the tram tracks are the greatest hazard to cyclists in the city, and the fear of accidents puts people off making their journeys by bike.  In the short term the council needs to build infrastructure or reroute cyclists to avoid accident hotspots. In the long term we need a proper, high quality cycle network so the tracks can be avoided altogether.

Please continue to report tram track cycle accidents at www.tramcrash.co.uk.

Sheffield City Council Cycling Strategy

Our aim is to get the council to deliver on its cycling promises – historically they have not done so. In 2006 they promised to build a new cycle network and to resolve the problems with tram lines within 5 years, and clearly neither of these things were delivered.  

More recently funding is a problem; local government funds have been cut, while Sheffield City Council missed out on Cycle City Ambition funding. As a result, capital to fund new cycling infrastructure will need to come from local ‘development’ budgets, or we will need the national government to be persuaded to contribute more.

There is a strong lobby from the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport (SYPTE). Sheffield City Council planners have many years of history struggling to fit the increasing number of cars on the road – there have been no natural cycling champions in the council.

The latests cycling ‘promises’ were made in 2014, in response to a Cycling Enquiry driven by CycleSheffield, but the council is already well behind with delivering them. On the other hand the Sheffield City Region plans have moved ahead and there has been progress with planning new regional routes.

We are trying to work with the council to prioritise this work, and to identify wherever cycling infrastructure can be built-in to another road scheme. The council recently agreed to carry out a formal audit of all transport schemes to clearly show how cycle-friendly they are.   

Last year the council proposed, and CycleSheffield supported, some high quality infrastructure standards, which are being trialled in a couple of new cycle routes. We are about to start working jointly with a couple of schools to see how many children will cycle to school if better infrastructure is provided.

Alongside this we are trying to get a strategic commitment to deliver good cycle routes throughout the city, but this is an uphill task. We are looking for allies both within the Council and the business community.      

Space for Cycling

The Space for Cycling campaign has six ‘asks’:

  • Protected space on main roads and through junctions
  • Lower traffic speeds
  • Reduced through-traffic
  • Safe routes to schools
  • People-friendly town and city centres
  • Traffic-free routes in green spaces

These ‘asks’ form the basis of all our campaigning. Since 2014 we have organised three Space for Cycling Big Rides, the latest one being on 11th June when we had some 250 riders participate.

Although it was a great event, the rider numbers were significantly down from the 450 in 2015. A review of reasons for the drop in riders is underway.

Consultation responses

There are many consultations that CycleSheffield tries to respond to.  Although the process can at times appear worthless, it is important that feedback is given to ensure that the voice for more space for cycling is heard.

Some of the response were:

Membership

Our membership stands at 459. Over the past year 87 members have not renewed their subscriptions but 55 new members have joined.

Our members are generous: at the last AGM we decided to ask members to pay more than the minimum subscription and in the past year we have received £257 from that source.

In November a new a mechanism to allow members to opt to receive their cards electronically rather than by post was implemented and publicised. This saves CycleSheffield some expenses and work. So far 71 members have opted for electronic cards.

Finance

Income for the year April 2015 to March 2016 was:

  • £3,722

Spending during the same period was:

  • £3,070

This achieved a surplus of:

  • £653

41% of the income is from membership fees, which is clearly an important part of the finances.

Governance

CycleSheffield is governed by a committee made up of: Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Active Trustee and up to 5 other members.

Until February 2016, Matt Turner was the Chair and Emma Metcalfe was Secretary. It is universally acknowledged that both did an outstanding job and are a tough act to follow. Matt and Emma are currently enjoying an extended cycle tour of Europe.

The following people have been elected to the CycleSheffield committee:

Ian Carey – Chair

Dexter Johnstone – Secretary

Jason Colbeck – Active Trustee

Karen Hisom – Membership Secretary

Barry Dobson – Treasurer

Sam Wakeling

Sam Burton

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