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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.

What happens when people try to report their tram accidents to the ‘authorities’?

We have been told by an employee of Sheffield City Council that the reason no action has been taken about cyclist accidents on the tram tracks over the last 20 years is that people do not report their accidents, so the council is not aware that there is a problem.

We ask the people (306 so far) who have reported accidents to us whether they tried to report it to anyone else (Sheffield Council, Stagecoach Supertram, South Yorkshire Police, South  Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive). This is what they said:

“Contacted the city council but was met by a distinct lack of interest. Suggested I should use the road parallel to white lane but of course this would have meant that I would have to cross both sets of tracks twice to continue my journey which, with the amount of traffic would make it even more dangerous.”

“I was told there was nothing that could be done.”

“Reported it onto the city council’s report system online”

“reported on 20/08/15 on 101”

“I did not report it as I had a similar accident in 2012 and had negative response from supertram”

“I tried to report it to the police via 101 and they insisted that it was not reportable.”

“Supertram, they were not in the slightest interested and told me I should have gotten off my bike and walked across the junction.”

“Reported on 101 on 18/08/15.”

“Reported on 101 on 11/08/15”

“I phoned 101 and they did not want to know. Frankly they were a little patronising. They asked if by bike I meant motorbike, and if another vehicle was involved. They then informed me that because I just fell off my “pushbike” it’s not a police matter. We had a little discussion about this, and apparently their colleagues backed them up. The woman wasn’t going to budge and refused to file a report. I phoned 101 back again. Once again got absolute nowhere. The woman had never heard of a STATS19 form and informed me once again that it was not a police matter.”

“I’ve just reported the accident to the police for their records too (although the lady on the phone didn’t seem particularly interested).”

“The tram company but no response”

“Yes to the Council in 2014”

“Reported accident to Stagecoach on 26/07/2014”

“I did as you asked and basically got nowhere. The first question was on what date did the accident happen, I gave her the date and said I am only reporting it because I was asked to by yourselves. The person said as there was no damage and no 3rd party that I should not report it. ( I rather got the impression that she thought I was wasting her time ). She then began to tell me that if there were injuries or third party involvement I had to report in person and fill in some sort of form. I was not asked about the location of the accident .”

“Reported to Sheffield Council on 18/03/2015”

I called 101 to log my bike accident on the tracks. It was logged as a closed incident.  They did not consider it an accident, such as vehicle crash and could not find a catergory to put it under, but the incident is logged.”

“I’ve just called 101 and they told me to go to a police station either Moss Way, Snig Hill or Ecclesfield and I need to write in a book at the main desk. She would not take any of my details.”

“I called 101 but they said as it wasn’t involving a licensed motor vehicle they would not normally issue an incident number.”

“Yes, tram official on site”

“I reported the incident to the council initially who then referred me to Amey who then referred me to Supertram. I was just given the run around. I did start to go through one of these no win no fee companies but wasn’t really in it for any money, I just wanted it making safer for other users.”

“reported via Sheffield Council survey”

“enquired via police, council and first bus nobody wanted to know.”

“Not officially reported to Police, however a passing patrol car stopped to assist/called ambulance. No incident number was given.”

“Not a reportable RTC according to 101.”

“Reported to Sheffield City Council in 1997”

“I have been in touch with the City Council, and after Harry Harpham MP contacted them for me, they have added a warning to their cycling webpage (I had asked them before to do this, with no result). I was in touch with David Blunkett MP (before the election) and he contacted South Yorkshire PTE, who replied to him. I have been in touch with Supertram by letter but no response.”

“Yes to 101 on 29 July 2013.”

“I tried to do this on 101. I explained that I wanted to do it as I want it to be recognised as a serious incident. The report was declined as no third party was involved. I also looked at ways of informing the council as I have met several other people who have had similar accidents. Again I got nowhere.”

“reported to council in 2005”

“No. Well I emailed Statecoach Customer Services but didn’t hear back. I contacted Sheffield City Council about mine at the time and received a letter from the legal dept saying that they were in no way liable and didn’t see it as a problem – end of.”

“I did report mine and was passed from pillar to post – from council to SYPTE to Amey and back to the council.”

“To Supertram in 1995”

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.

What is Space for Cycling?

Space for Cycling is about creating the conditions where riding a bike is a realistic choice for everyone, regardless of age or ability. Wider benefits include reduced traffic noise, more friendly neighbourhoods, improved air quality and more freedom for children to play outside.

Protected space on main roads and through junctions

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Major roads and junctions can be threatening which deters cycling. Yet they are often the most direct routes from A to B. With good cycle planning, anyone should be able to use these routes safely and confidently.

Lower traffic speeds

20mph

Lowering traffic speeds improves safety for everyone, including people riding bikes. It creates a more pleasant environment where walking and cycling are enjoyable and local neighbourhoods are more pleasant places to live.

Reduced through-traffic

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Rat-running blights communities and can make travelling by bike intimidating. Pleasant cycling and walking routes can be created by closing a road to through-traffic but leaving it open for bicycles and people walking.

Safe routes to schools

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Many Sheffield schools offer cycle training but very few children are able to ride their bikes to school.  Road danger is a huge worry for Sheffield parents which keeps walking and cycling levels low.

People-friendly town and city centres

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Public spaces which are not dominated by motor traffic encourage people to spend time there. They are more pleasant places to work, shop and spend time. Think of European café culture: the result of streets which revolve around people, not motor traffic.

Traffic-free routes in green spaces

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Walking and cycling in green spaces is pleasant and can enhance city life. Routes through parks and green spaces complement direct routes along main roads but should not be seen as an alternative to a cycle-friendly road network.

 

TELL SHEFFIELD COUNCIL THAT A “GREEN CITY’ MUST HAVE A HIGH QUALITY CYCLE NETWORK

Sheffield City Council is currently consulting on the final report of the Sheffield Green Commission.

The report can be seen here: Green Report

Please respond to the consultation, it is very straightforward and should only take a few minutes to complete.

The consultation is here.

You need to indicate whether or not you agree with each part of the report.

You can make optional pledges to help support the implementation of a Green City.

CycleSheffield pledged to continue campaigning for a high quality and extensive cycle network which is accessible to all. The creation of this network would address many of the issues raised by the Green Report.

You can add an optional final comment.

Our final comment is below. You are welcome to use our response as the basis for your own, or to express support for our response.

Sheffield needs a high quality cycle network which links residential areas with workplaces, leisure opportunities, schools, shops etc across the entire city region.  Sheffield needs to adopt high quality standards for cycle infrastructure which is included in all new developments, not added on as an afterthought or if there is room. Most people will not choose to make their journeys by bike unless they feel it is safe, convenient and easy to do.

The creation of a high quality cycle network should be a priority for the Sheffield City Region as it directly addresses three of the four high priority “game changing” visions of the Green Report:

  • Sheffield is a connected city
  • Sheffield is energy secure and sustainable for today and for the future
  • Sheffield is a green city both in its urban core and its surrounding landscape.

The creation of a high quality cycle network will lead to a modal shift in how people make their journeys in Sheffield. This will have important health benefits – allowing people to incorporate physical activity into their everyday lives; environmental benefits – reducing air pollution and CO2 emissions by reducing the number of motor vehicles; economic benefits – cyclists spend more than motorists and are more likely to use local shops and amenities; assist with sustainable economic growth and mobility by reducing road congestion and therefore journey times. It will improve the quality of life for people in Sheffield; cycling is a cheap and therefore inclusive mode of transport, which is important especially in Sheffield where ⅓ of households don’t have access to a car (census 2011). Higher levels of cycling will mean less motor traffic which will improve neighbourhoods and communities as streets will be become more livable and safer with less air and noise pollution.

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Videos: Why Sheffield Should Go Dutch and Streetfilms

At our event last night Matt Turner of Cycle Sheffield explained how the Dutch approach of designing freedom to move into their urban spaces affords families a quality of life and freedom which is the envy of Europe.

We also watched a short selection of Streetfilms showing how smart transportation design and policy can result in better places to live, work and play!

Here are all the videos we showed.

Designing Quality of Life into Our City: Why Sheffield Should Go Dutch

Justin from Utrecht and his experiences of cycling in England.

Streetfilms – Inspiration for a more liveable Sheffield

Designing Quality Of Life Into The City: Why Sheffield Should Go Dutch

6pm on Wednesday the 24th of February at the Showroom Cinema, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2BX

Facebook event here

Matt Turner of Cycle Sheffield explains how the Dutch approach of designing freedom to move into their urban spaces affords families a quality of life and freedom which is the envy of Europe.

We will also watch a short selection of Streetfilms showing how smart transportation design and policy can result in better places to live, work and play!

Prepare to be educated, inspired and ready to push for change in Sheffield!

This will be a fun and friendly event, all welcome. Great if you want to get involved but don’t know many people. Food and drink available from the bar throughout the evening. We hope you’ll stay to chat and hang out with us afterwards.