Category Archives: Announcements

Sheffield Council approve Tram / Cycle Safety Action Plan

Sheffield Council have now approved a Tram Cycle Safety Action Plan which CycleSheffield agreed with them in July 2016.

What is the problem?

The tram tracks are the biggest cause of accidents and injuries to people on bikes in Sheffield and they also deter people from making journeys by bike

Over 380 crashes reported

CycleSheffield has received over 380 accident reports since January 2015 which we have mapped. Gathering this data was vital in demonstrating the scale of the problem and persuading the council that they needed to act.

We have shared the data with Sheffield City Council and identified the worst locations for accidents. The top 5 worst locations are:

  1. Langsett Road at Primrose Hill tram stop.
  2. Holme Lane / Loxley New Road / Ball Road junction.
  3. White Lane at White Lane tram stop.
  4. Glossop Road at junction with Upper Hanover St.
  5. Hillsborough Corner.

What is the council planning to do?

Firstly, to implement:

“a series of warning signs … in the current financial year and preferably before the onset of winter [2016], at the top 20 locations now identified.”

This is only the first step and as the report accepts “warning signs will not in themselves resolve the problems created by the infrastructure.”

The council has then committed to:

  • By March 2017: design solutions at the top five worst accident sites
  • By June 2017: design solutions for the remaining top 20 sites.
  • Agree a schedule of work for these solutions to be implemented in financial years 2017/18 and 2018/19
  • By September 2017: Complete implementation of the top 5 sites
  • Develop in 2016/17 and pilot 2017/18 a cyclist/ tram-track solution for each type of tram/ carriageway interface (e.g. tram stops, tram track leaving road to left, to right etc). Develop a plan for the deployment of these solutions and an ongoing programme of works and ensure that these solutions are incorporated in all future Supertram infrastructure schemes.
  • During financial years 2017/ 18 and 2018/ 19 implement solutions for the top 20 accident sites.

Will this solve the problem?

If these solutions are designed to best practice standards and delivered on time then they will make a big and very welcome improvement.  We will work as closely as possible to contribute to, and review, the solution designs.

We are concerned that the council will not get further than the signage, so CycleSheffield will:

  • request updates on their progress on the action points
  • encourage  them to prioritise the design of convenient alternative routes rather than piecemeal improvements along the roads with tracks
  • push them to make money available and bid for new funding to make larger infrastructure improvements

We are hopeful since this report and investment has the backing of cabinet member Cllr Iqbal:

South Yorkshire Police response to our request to adopt a ‘close pass’ initiative

Do South Yorkshire Police intend to run a ‘close pass’ initiative to improve the safety of cyclists, similar to the one that West Midlands Police and other forces are now doing?

We  submitted the question to the Police and Crime Panel via Councillor Joe Otten. We also met the assistant Police and Crime Commissioner and discussed whether South Yorkshire Police (SYP) could adopt a ‘close pass initiative’.

If you are not familiar with the the ‘close pass’ initiative  run by  West Midlands Police you can read about it here.

West Midlands Police road policing blog has more detailed information and explanation for the adoption of this initiative.

SYP written response:

I am aware of this scheme and only a couple of weeks ago, the Assistant PCC, Sioned-Mair Richards attended a meeting with representatives of Sheffield Cycle groups as well as the city council about this.

Key roads are targeted and police cyclists ride the road. If someone drives too close to them then colleagues, including someone from the local authority waiting ahead are notified and the offending vehicle is stopped and either prosecuted or given education input. A similar scheme is run in Humberside – Operation Achilles applies the same principles except for motorbikes. The educational input is delivered by a local authority representative using an educational mat. The cost of this mat is approximately £900.

Chief Inspector Glen Suttenwood has provided me with the statistics from the Safer Roads Partnership concerning collisions involving cyclists in South Yorkshire:-

CRASH CJU CJU
PEDAL CYCLE 2016 2015 2014
FATAL 1 1 1
SERIOUS 52 45 56
SLIGHT 200 258 275

Clearly one death per year is one too many, however, deaths involving cyclists in South Yorkshire are no where near the levels that they are in the West Midlands or other parts of the country.  Whilst it is clear that the scheme has been well received in the West Midlands and is a good approach to tackling a key priority, this needs to be balanced against priorities that are force specific. The main cohorts in relation to road deaths or serious injuries in South Yorkshire are centred on pedestrians and car users – drivers or passengers – where SYP have seen a continual rise over the past 2 years. That said, West Midlands Police are hosting a workshop in Birmingham on 13 January and officers from SYP are looking to attend.

In addition to this, given the challenging demand that the police service is currently facing as a result of austerity, resources are carefully deployed to target specific activity. I understand South Yorkshire Police are not aware of any specific location (s) that is prominent for pedal cyclist Road Traffic Collisions. Neither, have any officers who are trained and equipped in the use of pedal cycles brought any concerns to the attention of Chief Inspector Suttenwood.

Enforcement should probably be used as a last resort to improve road safety, the most sensible solution would be to look at addressing the root causes of the problem – one of which is the layout of the roads. By creating segregated or shared cycle/pedestrian routes, improving lighting, awareness and signage, cyclists can use the roads with the confidence that they are safe to do. Some of this is being progressed in the county already:-

Sheffield 

  • Next development at Meadowhall, segregated cycle route.
  • The new Ikea is to have cycle routes and crossings to it, as is the upcoming Charter Square improvements.
  • The Connect 2 route is a fairly recent cycle route between Halfway and Killamarsh mainly segregated from traffic.

Rotherham

  • Centenary Way and Canklow roundabout have all recently been upgraded to cater for cyclists. A cycle route has been created on the Waverley development to a Highfield Springs.

Doncaster

  • A number of crossings have been converted to Toucan crossings along with a new one on Leger Way to link the Bawtry Rd commuter route to town. Also a new cycle lane on Bennethorpe.

Barnsley

  • A cycle to work route has been built to service the large Asos factory at Grimethorpe.
  • Also a new route is being built currently from the Trans Pennine Trail at Pontefract Rd into the town centre.

Whilst naturally, all force areas will see a decline in cyclists on the roads during the winter, I understand Chief Inspector Suttenwood is discussing the prospect of delivering some educational workshops in schools for future drivers and cyclists with local LPTS during Spring 2017 following attendance at West Midland Police’s workshop.

We’re changing to free membership!

We want to get lots more people on board so that we can have a bigger impact in the campaigning we do. So from now on we will not charge a fee for membership. This will be much simpler for us to administer, easier for people to sign up to, and won’t need it to be renewed each year.

We will now term everyone who joins us supporters.

Join today!

Existing members will be automatically added to our supporters list and won’t need to do anything.

If you would still like to support CycleSheffield financially that would be great. You can simply leave any existing standing order in place as a donation, but it is up to you. We don’t spend much, so a little for costs like printing, web hosting etc goes a long way.

Thank you for supporting CycleSheffield!

You can also follow on Twitter and join our Facebook group.

Add your name today!

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.

CycleSheffield response to the proposed redevelopment of Charter Square

Sheffield council is redeveloping Charter Square.

They say that “we would like to make major changes to the layout of Charter Square.  These changes, while benefiting pedestrians and cyclists, will mean changes to how traffic flows in the area. Tell us what you think to our proposals.”

You can read more about the changes here and see the Plan of Charter Square pedestrian and cycling improvements and Existing and Proposed Access Routes for Charter Square.

CycleSheffield has looked at the plans and responded to the council’s consultation. You can read our response here: Charter Square Cycle Sheffield Response.

 

 

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

CYCLESHEFFIELD 2016 AGM – WEDNESDAY 29TH JUNE, 7PM, SHOWROOM CAFE BAR

Wednesday 29th June, Showroom Cafe Bar, Paternoster Road, Sheffield, S1 2BX

7pm: Talk by Tom Finnegan-Smith (Head of Strategic Transport and Infrastructure at SCC) about what SCC are currently working on to improve conditions for cycling in Sheffield. Then discussion/questions.

8pm: AGM. Reports from officers. Election of committee

9pm: Finish but please stay around for drinks and chat!

Food (until 9pm) and drink is available from the bar throughout.

Join the Cycle Sheffield committee

We’re looking for people to join our organising committee and help us in our campaign for a more cycle-friendly Sheffield. You don’t have to be a ‘cycling expert’; you just need to have an interest and a desire to change things.

Please forward any nominations to us by email or speak to one of the committee members if you’re interested.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the AGM.

Join our Big Ride for Space for Cycling in Sheffield on Saturday 11th of June!

A public demonstration to Sheffield City Council of the need to improve cycling infrastructure and support the Space for Cycling campaign, which asks for:

-Protected space on main roads
-Removing through motor traffic in residential areas
-Lower speed limits
-Cycle-friendly town centres
-Safe routes to school
-Routes through green spaces

Start and finish is at Devonshire Green, Devonshire Street, Sheffield, S3 7SW. Please gather from 1030 for a 1100 start.

Please wear something red and bring a bell or whistle or horn to make some joyous noise.

The route is approximately 2.5km long, generally very flat and circles the city centre, passing the Town Hall. With so many riders (there were almost 500 in 2015) it is likely to take around 1 hour to complete.

The route can be viewed here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xTWmvZvk0ZKUILjG7qv8m–mSbw&usp=sharing.

Children under the age of 16 years are very welcome, as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Rider participate at their own risk. The ride is being organised in accordance with guidelines from Cycling UK and is covered by liability insurance.

For insurance purposes, please register via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/599353126898389/

 or Eventbrite:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/space-for-cycling-the-big-ride-tickets-25738131444

There will be Marshals within the riders and at key junctions. For your safety and comfort, please follow the instructions of the Marshals.

See you on the day and have a great ride.

CycleSheffield

CycleSheffield response to the Government consultation on CWIS

We have carefully reviewed the Department for Transport’s draft strategy for Cycling and Walking, and submitted a formal response on behalf of you our members. We found the proposed strategy deeply disappointing. You can see it here.

DfT says that they understand the compelling arguments for improving cycling infrastructure, and the excellent return on investment (better than twice as good as HS2!) , but under their proposals…

  • They will not set standards for new infrastructure – as a result standards and quality will vary widely depending on how much Local Authorities feel they can afford, London will have Super Highways, Leeds will have 75cm wide roadside tracks, and currently Sheffield has red tarmac at the side of busy roads which is mostly used for car parking after 9:30. Neither cyclists nor motorists will have a consistent understanding of how to behave on the roads.
  • There will be no new money to pay for Cycle lanes etc, which are already massively under-funded – each City will be expected to pay for their Walking and Cycling infrastructure by taking money out of their Local Growth fund – which was intended for Economic Growth. In Sheffield there are already numerous conflicting priorities for the shrinking funds we receive from the Government. We think this is doomed to failure.

We have responded by suggesting to the DfT what needs to do if we are to have any chance of succeeding with walking and cycling. You can read our response to the DfT proposal here.

This is a time when we need your support more than ever.

–          We don’t know if we will receive a formal response to our proposals, but it would be useful if you can support us by raising our concerns with your local MP here.

–          or you can respond to the Dft yourself here.

–          Join us on the Space For Cycling ride on Saturday the 11th of June.  More info here.

–          And come along to your AGM on Wednesday the 29th of June. More info here.