Good News: Sheffield to put cycling first and cycle audits for any scheme that alters the public highway

Good news!
At last Sheffield Council’s Transport, Traffic and Parking Services (TTaPS) have had been advised (told?) to put cycling first and to do cycle audits.
The final lever for this directive was the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee’s Inquiry into Cycling.
This is good news because it is to apply to all road schemes and any scheme that has an impact on the public highways – so housing, retail, leisure, offices, industrial ….
We will check that this advice and its sentiment to put cycling first is also being spread to Planning and Development Services
I think it will because the Cycle Champion, David Caulfield, is Director of Regeneration and Development Services and carries the can for Planning Division, Building Standards, TTaPS,  and Highway Maintenance/Streets Ahead.
The thinking will be joined up.
The message we got is  below

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Hello all, As some of you may know Dave Caulfield is now our ‘Cycling Champion’ having taken over the role when Les Sturch left the Council.   Cycling is something that Councillors and senior officers are keen to promote for a number of reasons – health, air quality, road safety and congestion, to mention a few.

With a view to supporting the “Council Inquiry into Cycling” (hosted by Scrutiny Board), we have been looking at how the Council provides for cyclists and also taking note of what cycling groups and other campaigners have been saying.   Whilst we do achieve some good things for cyclists, it is fair to say that we don’t do as much as we could and that there have been some missed opportunities.   Often, getting it right for cyclists doesn’t even need to cost anything and can have enormous benefits for the City as a whole.   We have come to the conclusion that two main initial changes need to be made.

1.     Think Cycling from the Outset

It has become clear that we don’t think about the cycling aspects of a scheme/ project early enough – often not until most major decisions have been taken.   It’s then ‘too late’ to redesign, or it means ripping up what has already been done and starting again, or ending up with lesser quality cycling facilities “bolted on” at the end.   It’s no surprise, therefore, that we are not doing as well as we could.   Retrofitting facilities after a project has been completed is always much more expensive and it’s usually the Council that pays!  We need to plan our work better in order to avoid this.

So whether it’s, a bus lane, or work on a planning application, or something entirely different, think cycling from the outset.

2.    Cycle Audit

To overcome our current inconsistencies, Cycle Audit, is to be integrated into all project planning and scheme design work.   It will take time to get up to speed with this.   All schemes that make alterations to the public highway and public realm should request a cycle audit at an early stage, although not all schemes will be audited (it may not be necessary).  Thinking about a path through a park?   Planning some roadworks?  Think cyclist.   If in doubt, ask.

If you have a project that you think may need a cycle audit, or if you are not sure, please email.

For highway schemes, Cycle Audits should be requested at the same stage as a road safety audit would be, regardless of likely scheme cost.

It is important to ensure that the above is adhered to, that cycling requirements are always taken seriously and that any such requirements are implemented unless there is a good reason for not doing so.

Regards

John Bann

Head of Transport, Traffic

and Parking Services

Sheffield City Council,

Transport, Traffic and Parking Services

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