New cycle routes planned in Sheffield

Sheffield Council are building several new routes over the next few years (the money has to be spent by 2018), funded through their Sustainable Transport Exemplar Program (STEP) budget. They have also planned a couple more which are not currently funded.

Where are these routes and are they going to be any good?

Route 1. Portobello – Trippet Lane – Barkers Pool. This would connect the new cycle route on Portobello built as part of the University of Sheffield campus master plan with Surrey Street (and so to Sheffield train station). You can see the route here.

This route should have been built in summer 2016 but has stalled because the council has ‘temporarily’ decided to route car park traffic from John Lewis along Trippet Lane to Rockingham Street. This means there will be far too much traffic for the ‘cycle street’ concept and so the route will have to be segregated (but this is not designed). This route has been removed from the STEP budget and so is unfunded.

Sheffield Council should have prioritised this route, it offers an important alternative to cycling along West Street with its tram track hazards.

Cost: ? currently unfunded and not in any budget.

Route 2. SHU Collegiate campus to Sheffield Station. You can see the route here.

The red line is the favoured route with the others being developed later. However, because of the uncertainty about the New Retail Quarter the section between Trafalgar Street and Pinstone Street can’t be designed / built yet and instead there will be a diversion along the dotted green line.

Cost: £546,590*

Route 3. Attercliffe to Darnall. You can see the route here.

The route will link the National Cycle Network at point A to B following the red / pink line with a few different option along the way.

This is a strange route, connecting two suburbs when it would make more sense when starting to build a cycle network to connect the suburbs with the city centre. It is also winding and indirect.

Cost: £995,000*

Route 4. Waverley to Handsworth. You can see the route here.

The route is represented by the yellow line on the map – this connects the Waverley estate (and so the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) with the National Cycle Network route 627. It will involve a bridge over Handsworth roundabout.

Cost: ? currently unfunded and not in any budget.

Route 5 Blackburn Valley cycle route.  You can see the route here.

This is a ‘Green route’ through the countryside which is already part built and this round of funding will go towards some of the missing sections. The red line bit is ready to be built, the stripey blue line is already there and the solid blue route is unfunded.

This is a poor use of the Sheffield’s very limited  spend on cycling.

Cost: £950,000*

Route 6 and 7. Little Don Link/Upper Don Valley cycle route.  This is a ‘Green route’ through the countryside which is already part built and this round of funding will go towards some of the missing sections.

You can see route 6 here and route 7 here.

On Route 6 the council are building the yellow dashed line from the orange dashed line to bridge A. The developer of the Oughtibridge paper mill site is paying for the rest (yellow dashed line from bridge A to where it joins the green dashed line).

Route 7 goes from Wortley Road to Fox valley.

This is a poor use of the Sheffield’s very limited  spend on cycling.

Cost: £1,725,000*

What do CycleSheffield think?

Around £3.7 million is being spent on routes where there is no known demand, while people are at risk on busy roads.

The council should prioritise routes that enable people to make every day journeys by bike (to work, to the shops, to school) rather than leisure routes in the countryside. Given the numbers of cyclist tram track accidents it is extremely disappointing that Sheffield Council are not planning any routes which would enable cyclists to avoid these hazards.

As the STEP funding needs to spent by March 2018, the council seem to be spending money on green routes as they are much easier to achieve but won’t do anything to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes.

*costs are taken from Sheffield City Region 3 year STEP budget which you can see here.

10 thoughts on “New cycle routes planned in Sheffield

  1. I see quite a lot of cyclists riding in the rush hour traffic going along queens road towards Woodseats without any provision for cyclists. This makes several cyclists use the pavement while the rest is having to share a road where the lanes are not really wide enough anyway for the amount of traffic that uses it. The worst part is from b&q to halfords and theb again through woodseats. I would have personally thought that a cycle lane could have been put in if the road was made wider or even making one lane a bus lane on queens road in peak times to encourage cycling and public transport.

    1. Yes, it is really poor that Sheffield council are spending millions on leisure routes in the countryside rather than making cycling safer and more appealing in the city.

  2. I commute daily between Thorpe Hesley and Burngreave and use the Blackburn Valley route to avoid several busy main roads. I also see many other commuters on this route. Unfortunately the unfinished sections are difficult to use in bad weather, particularly during the winter. I would be very pleased to see this route completed to improve my commute in all weather conditions. I would also predict an increase in cycle journeys between Chapeltown/Meadowhall /Sheffield.

  3. I don’t agree with CycleSheffield’s assessment of the Blackburn Valley route. There are over 10,000 people living in Chapeltown and over 30,000 in Ecclesfield (2001 census sourced from Wikipedia) What is described as “countryside” is a narrow strip of land between the M1 and the railway surrounded by suburban conurbations. The Meadowhall area is a major source of employment for people living in this area and the Blackburn valley is a development zone. The roads in this area are congested and unpleasant to cycle on – the council made changes at junctions in Meadowhall a few years ago to encourage more motorists to use the B6082 rather than the M1. I think Sheffield Council needs to provide cycle routes that work for everyone not just the middle classes of West Sheffield.

    1. Hi Simon,

      The BVR could be a great link from the north to the east end of Sheffield but it needs better connections into the the urban areas it passes as well as Chapeltown. The Meadowhall end also needs work (all those unsignalised crossings over Meadowhall Road!).

      I cycled the route on Sunday and wrote a review: http://www.cyclesheffield.org.uk/2016/10/20/cycling-the-blackburn-valley-cycle-route/

      I’d be interested to know what you think

      Cheers, Dexter

  4. Green routes won’t upset the car driving electorate hence their popularity with members. The status quo will remain and air quality will remain abysmal and congestion endemic. The usual fail.

  5. I am now t clear how these routes have been arrived at. Is there an overall plan? Would be useful to know if so and what consultation, evaluation and cosnisderations are driving this investment. Can anyone advise?

    1. Hi Isobel,

      Two of the routes (the Blackburn Valley and Upper Don Valley) are already mostly built – you can see them and the unfinished bits on this map –

      https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/dms/scc/management/corporate-communications/documents/transport/walking-cycling/cycling/Green-Routes-Map—November-2015/Green%20Routes%20Map%20-%20November%202015.pdf

      So I guess SCC just want to get these finished off.

      We are not sure why they have prioritised the other routes, route 3 seems like a particularly strange one. We’ve tried to find out but they are not very open in their decision making.

  6. As I understand it Route 3 is to link the Sports Academy to the Manor & eastern suburbs – it was sold to us as a partner route to the city centre – Sports Academy “superhighway” using 627 and indeed you can see on the diagram that it links up to that route. It’s been on the wishlist for a long time – presumably has come up now as is easier to do than the city centre/main road routes. It doesn’t actually go to Darnall which is partially shown in the north-east quadrant of the diagram.

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