CycleSheffield Matters for the SCC Cycle Forum 20 May 2014

Every couple of months there is a Cycle Forum, a meeting with SCC and parties who have a stake in cycling in the city.

CycleSheffield usually brings a set of issues to raise with SCC and other parties.

We see it like an open letter to the Council – matters said which then should not be ignored or forgotten.

CycleSheffield Matters for CycleForum Tue 20 May 2014

1. CycleSheffield would like SCC to note:

  1. the national Space for Cycling Campaign and the local Sheffield Space for Cycling Campaign with the Space for Cycling Big Ride that took place on May 17. see below
  2. our thanks for the recent meeting and discussion with the SCC Cycle Champion, David Caulfield to discuss cycling issues;
  3. the Cycle Expo meeting in Leeds May 1 & 2 2014  – only two officers from SY (one from Sheffield) went!
  4. the CycleSheffield programme for Bike Week – check out www.cyclesheffield.org.uk
  5. one of our members has reported a completed highway development to Streets Ahead as dangerous for cyclists. We support his action.
  6. we welcome the statement that SCC will do walking and cycle audits for any development that affects a public highway.  We must also say that we feel like we have been here before and we would more warmly welcome any evidence that this is actually being done

2. CycleSheffield’s Space for Cycling Big Ride

  1. on Saturday 17 May may well be the biggest bike ride in Sheffield this year and it certainly will be the happiest.  Approximately 240 people celebrated their desire to cycle in Sheffield in a joyful 4.5 mile ride from town centre out to Hunters Bar and back again via Nether Edge (the TdF peloton is only 198 riders).  It was an inclusive ride with all sorts from children to pensioners, men and women, gay and straight, black and white and dressed in all sorts on all sorts of bikes.  There were many more women than you would usually see on bike rides.
  2. All were answering CycleSheffield’s call for people who cycle to demonstrate their desire for Sheffield to see itself as a cycling city and for councillors and officers to make Space for Cycling.  The campaign wants a reduction in ‘rat runs’ in residential areas, better junction design and segregated bike lanes on busy roads, a joined-up cycling network in the city centre and in suburban centres, and that Sheffield starts designing and constructing NOW so that every Sheffield child is able to cycle safely to school.
  3. Saturday 17 May was a real success. For 240 people to turn up to show their desire for Space for Cycling and have a joyful time riding through our city together sends a message to councillors that cycling is something that many more people would do if they felt the roads were designed and built better and space and transport planning put the needs of vulnerable road users first.  As we cycled around we received so much support from people on the streets and people in cars and buses towards this ride that it shows that cycling in Sheffield will be popular.  This is our mandate to say that Sheffielders want Sheffield to be a cycling city NOW; so, Sheffield City Council just do it.

3. Penistone RdIs a formal response/comment on the process and decision making wrt to the Penistone Rd scheme and, what we consider, the specious arguments used in this case

  1. The modelling data presented by officers did not allow proper comparisons or consider all users Traffic flows modelled at 30mph (as part of Smart Routes scheme); scheme proposed for 40mph but not modelled at this speed. Emissions modelled (or only estimated?) at 40mph and compared to current levels; deemed to be ‘acceptable’ due to being about the same as current emissions. Emissions not modelled for new scheme at 30mph for comparison – perhaps there would be a worthwhile reduction in emissions at 30mph, we don’t know (esp. considering AQAP).  Pedestrian and cyclist movements not modelled, and we quote, “Whilst the movements of cyclists and pedestrians were not part of the actual modelling, the crossing requirements of these users have been included in the design.” – but e.g. Livesey St [removal of] crossing is a substantial disbenefit to pedestrians, with the justification given during the cabinet member meeting sidelining the issue of how long it would take to cross the road with a weird comment that students would be able to reach McDonalds more easily(!). There are currently issues of congestion/conflict at some traffic lights for those walking or cycling that don’t appear to be addressed in this scheme, which have been videod by CycleSheffield members
  2. Not all aspects of changing the speed limit had been considered Major justifications given for 40mph included ‘signing’ 30mph, and the idea that the new bus lane from Hillfoot Bridge to Hillsborough Barracks would provide cyclists with some protection. However, the 40mph would apply both inbound and outbound (no ‘protection’ on inbound section), and from Hillfoot Bridge to Shalesmoor, where no changes are planned (includes junctions with Rutland Road and Green Lane – already difficult and/or dangerous junctions for pedestrians and cyclists to cross, and some too-narrow cycle lanes for 40mph). A tacit acceptance of SYP’s approach to speed limit enforcement, but no consideration given to e.g. stronger 30mph signing at Shalesmoor (such as a ‘30’ painted on-carriageway), or speed indication devices later on – or repeater speed camera signs including ‘30’.
  3. Some roads may also not have been properly considered for the effect on pedestrians of a 40mph limit. E.g. on the south of Penistone Road in this stretch (Montgomery Terrace Road, Gilpin St, Flora St etc; also note the new retail residential and retail developments nearby). No recognition seems to have been given to the issue of faster traffic when vehicles turn into side roads/accesses etc re. pedestrian and cyclist safety.
  4. The Cycle Audit was done after the event for this design. This means opportunities were missed, such as exploring segregated on-footway cycle provision, and priority for turning traffic still tending towards favouring the motorist (at side roads, accesses etc). Ther are some improvements with tighter radiused turnings and painted priority, but this feels very bolt-on. Instead there would seem to have been opportunities for e.g. raised plateaus at some of these points (there are a total of 30 side roads / accesses etc. from Herries Road through to Shalesmoor)
  5. NB LTN 2/08 1.7.3  Cycle Audits may be undertaken at up to four stages of the design process: preparation of a design brief; preliminary design; detailed design; substantial completion and LTN 2/08 1.7.7 When planning a new road scheme or other major works, high-quality cycle and pedestrian links should be considered from the outset, rather than being left until later. (…)
  6. Cyclesheffield’s objections were misrepresented.  Apparently Cycle Sheffield objected to the scheme for 4 reasons including, and we quote, ‘Speed limit will result in vehicles slowing down and speeding up between junctions’, which is not a direct quote to completely trivialise what we wrote and be dismissive of the consultation process. Cycle Sheffield objections are shown as 4 quotations taken from our letter, but they are not direct quotations so should not be presented as such.
  7. The argument that the money is for a scheme for cars not bikes (or peds).  The central government money is to increase capacity (rather than reduce congestion), but this only accounts for £3m of the £5m (is the other £2m Sainsburys?); meanwhile the cycle budget was halved in the prior financial year: If money is an issue for the cycle/pedestrian aspects of the design, why aren’t those budgets used too. Also what about LSTF, which was to have funded the section from HLC to Herries Road anyway?
  8. In summary CycleSheffield think that the officers’ case was incomplete and illogical.  We are concerned that the final argument seemed to be, well if we don’t do this now we will lose the money.  This puts the cllrs making the decision under pressure to accept a scheme that is inadequate for a major route north and which also carries NCN 627 a major Sustrans Route (and one of the proposed Green routes!).  More thought about and earlier consultation with all users of this route would have made a better scheme which will need retrofitting sooner rather than later.

4 CycleSheffield’s objection to planning application for the Graves Leisure Centre.  We looked at this in detail as we think that leisure centres, especially ones entrusted to SIV by SCC should encourage active travel.  We surveyed the site and the areas around it and compared our survey to the one done by consultants.  We also scrutinised the  proposed travel plan.  WE have submitted our ‘technical’ arguments on the planning website and written to relevant cllrs, officers, the CEO of SIV and Chair of SCT with our moral, as well as technical. objections

  1. The survey on the planning application had not properly surveyed cycling infrastructure, e.g. routes and toucan crossings were missing, even ones at the site or on the Sheffield Cycle Map were missed. A path at the back of the site had not been properly surveyed.
  2. Low cost enhancements, in proportion for total costs of the project, for cycling facilities were missed
  3. Cycling was not considered as a realistic way of getting to the site or a mode of transport that can be increased by changes in the overall plan; the number of bike stands was 10. (Yet SIV advertise jobs at minimum, not living, wage and 33% of Sheffield dwellings do not have access to a car)
  4. We make similar comments about the inadequacy of the survey of pedestrian access. And we also note, “… the connectivity for residents in Jordanthorpe, Batemoor and Lowedges are not mentioned because these residential districts are not even mentioned.” Astonishing.
  5. We also critiqued the failure to consider the impact on air quality of the traffic flows to the site on routes through other locations eg Woodseats.
  6. We expect flagship centres to promote the best possible practice wrt active travel.  For example, it is not only ironic but also stupid to have more people than needs be drive to a leisure centre to then sit and spin on a static bicycle. We expect planning applications, such as these, to address issues of fairness so that all citizens, even the ones in the three adjacent districts, can see them as places for themselves.
  7. As far as we understand the process, the consultants who drew up this planning application were advised by SCC officers. The planning application would have been scrutinised by SCC officers.  Two CycleSheffield members spent a morning surveying the site and a day reading the application and writing up the objections.  We wonder why can we, interested amateurs, spot things that professional consultants & professional officers can’t?
  8. We do not want to be picking holes in things but sometimes we have to.  Our work shows that something is awry in the planning process.  It is not our job to tell SIV, SCT and SCC what is wrong; it is their job to get it right.

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