Disruption to the Chapeltown Greenway and demolition of the Loicher Lane bridge!?

This has come to our attention over the last week.  We cannot understand why cyclists have not been consulted on this matter at all

We cannot understand why reasonable requests have not produced the information requested

We are raising this as a matter of urgency at SCC Cycle Forum Nov 18 2014

 We have been working on this up to now and more will be disclosd as and when we find it and makes usre info is valid.

Chapeltown Greenway Route & Loicher Lane

A CycleSheffield member has been taking an interest in the Chapeltown Greenway.  He is very concerned that the demolition of the Loicher Lane Bridge is mooted or worse has been decided.  He has brought it to our attention and we are extremely concerned at what we think is proposed.

This bridge carries the Chapeltown Greenway over Loicher Lane.  If the bridge remains people using the Greenway will be able to cycle uninterrupted on a level path over Loicher Lane and not be in conflict with road traffic on the road (Loicher Lane) below.

Apparently the proposal is to be demolish the bridge and the plan is to put two ramps in its place entailing cyclists and walkers to descend to the road itself, cross the road, and ascend back up to the level of the Greenway again.

The reasons for doing this are said to be structural and financial.  It has been said that the bridge is in a poor structural state and the cost of repair and the commuted costs of maintenance are more expensive than the cost of demolition and the cost of installation of the ramps

Reasonable requests for details of the structural state of the bridge and a breakdown of the costs have been refused.  More worryingly there is an indication that an ‘agreement’ with a local landowner has been ‘negotiated’.

CycleSheffield have been in contact with the Sustrans who inspect the bridge and the opinion is that t​he bridge is structurally sound.  Both Sustrans and Railway Paths Limited who own the bridge see no need to demolish the bridge.  Retention of the bridge would be preferable to demolition to ensure the integrity of the Greenway.

CycleSheffield understands that the cycle/walking path (Chapeltown Greenway) is in a Bridleway Creation Order (and also put in a covenant for the deeds of that land when it was sold).

CycleSheffield thinks that:

  • the proposed solution may not be the best solution for the safety, convenience and enjoyment of people using the Chapeltown Greenway (they will have to cross the road, the visibility of road traffic on this bend may not be good, there will, no doubt, be barriers to negotiate either side of the road, the gradients of the proposed ramps may be high, trips along the Greenway will be ‘broken’);

  • the crossing of the road creates road danger and conflict with traffic for Greenway users that will be a significant deterrent for people wanting to use the Greenway;

  • the proposed solution may not be the best economically and we would like to see the costs of both alternatives and reports on the structural state of the bridge;

  • the structural state of the bridge is not secret or confidential.  The Greenway is owned by Railway Paths Ltd and inspected by Sustrans and, we think at the moment, maintained by SCC in conjunction with Amey;

  • any plans for this important and nearly complete green route should have been brought to the attention of the Cycle Schemes Sub-Committee for monitoring and evaluation;

  • an, as yet unknown, agreement seems to have been negotiated with a private landowner (we surmise that may be to expedite the scheme or to save money but we don’t know to whose advantage).

CycleSheffield want the work on this part of the Greenway to be immediately halted until the causes for concern above are addressed and the whole situation is clarified.

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