Sheffield City Council plans to redevelop Woodside just north of Bridgehouses. CycleSheffield members went to the public consultations, talked with planners, perused the plans and came up with these suggestions about the transport and possible dwellings that we submitted in December. This development will be affect an important route north from the city centre, Pitsmoor Rd, that links to Pitsmoor, NGH, Fir Vale etc. as well as provide housing close to Kelham Island and the Don.
Public Consultation on the future of Stanley Fields and Pye Bank Road, Woodside (S3 9PB)
We are commenting on the draft Planning and Design Brief www.sheffield.gov.uk/woodside. We have been to drop-in sessions, read the documents and three of us have worked on these comments. Two of us live in the North of the city and use Pitsmoor Rd daily for trips.
- Local context
1.1 The redevelopment of Woodside and Stanley Fields is to be welcomed.
1.2 We understand and agree with the principle of the proposed land swap
1.3 The site has one of the four routes from the city into Pitsmoor and beyond. These are: Rutland Rd, Pitsmoor Rd, Brunswick Rd (cycle route only) and Spital Hill.
1.4 It is CycleSheffield’s view that the Brunswick Rd cycle route is not fit for purpose: it has a v steep section from the inner ring rd, it’s not overseen, it is fly-tipped and rat infested and goes through a neighbourhood that many may not want to use on their own. It will not be fit for purpose until it becomes part of a redevelopment around it. Rutland Rd is a steep main arterial route with high passenger car units (pcu) p.d. and 40mph speeds, Spital Hill has the lowest gradients (its where the tram line used to be) it is slow but it is v narrow and very congested for many hours during the day. Pitsmoor Rd has a short steep gradient from Bridgehouses to the top of Chatham St but after that the slopes are gentle and many cyclists use it to avoid the congestion on Spital Hill and connect with neighbourhoods along Pitsmoor Rd. and Barnsley Rd and to go to NGH. It should be considered a cycle route (and vehicle traffic flow could be ‘persuaded’ to use Spital Hill and Rutland Rd).
1.3 The site has attractive features in that it is hilly and many locations have fine views over the Upper Don Valley.
1.4 a. It is close to the city and the up and coming neighbourhood of Kelham Island and this makes it an attractive development site
1.4 b. There are short distances to Shalesmoor, Kelham Island, Neepsend, Parkwood Springs, Pitsmoor, Spital Hill, Wicker, & Castlegate via Nursery St, Snig Hill via Millsands. It is a site through which many will commute and it is a site that it is well or could be well connected.
1.4 c. The railway tracks that border the lower boundary could be seen as either a hindrance or block or making the site on the “wrong side of the tracks” or they could be seen as a feature that provide a boundary that separates residential from industrial and commercial on Shalesmoor and perhaps the sound of the inner ring road.
1.4 d. The site is bordered by social housing that are remnants of the Woodside estate and could be considered to provide a continuity with the recent past.
- Urban Design
2.1 We agree with the principles in yr document under section 2.11
2.2 We agree that Bridgehouses is a Gateway point (yr Fig 3) and Bridgehouses is also a problem for walking and cycling. See http://www.cyclesheffield.org.uk/2014/10/06/10677/
2.3 We agree that the walk that runs beside the boundary wall by the railway track is a problem – it is not overseen or lit and is used for prostitution and drug dealing at the Woodside Lane end. (It could be closed but may still need to be there for any future wall maintenance?). There could or should still be access to the Stanley Fields site form the Woodside Lane end of this path – see the current desire lines worn on the grass.
2.4 We wish to point out that the site has access (unmarked on yr Fig 3) from Fox St. This connects to Andover St and Rock St and hence to Spital Hill/Ellesmere Green
2.4 We bring to your attention to SCC’s Vision for Excellent Transport and the decision by Cabinet to incorporate cycling into that Vision see http://sheffielddemocracy.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s14468/Cycling%20Inquiry%20Report.pdf. One of the policy recommendations is that Sheffield needs to develop as soon as possible a strategic cycle network. Another policy recommendation is that all new developments start with walking and cycling audits. These recommendations are relevant to this site and should not be overlooked
- Our principles for urban design
3.1 Your plans talk of green routes. CycleSheffield think that SCC should talk of routes. We believe that people should be able to walk and cycle to where they work, shop, rest and play. We do not believe that cycling should be marginalised onto ‘green’ routes. This is an urban location with access to suburbs and the city but also access to parks, eg Parkwood Springs, the proposed linear park. Cycling takes place in both. By and large, monies for cycling infrastructure should go to urban routes, money for routes in parks should come from Leisure and Recreation monies.
3.2 We propose that access close to dwellings should be designed with the principles of shared space.
3.3. We propose residential parking (residents and visitors) should be off-road and could even be in community car parks. Cars should not come into conflict with pedestrians or cyclists close to housing. Streets should not be an obstacle course of parked cars for pedestrians and cyclists. This may also allow the establishment of play streets.
3.4 We propose that routes through and in and out of housing should be permeable so that pedestrians and cyclists do not have to follow the same routes as cars and they have direct routes that encourage walking and cycling.
3.5 Housing should have sufficient secure, covered bike parking either shared between dwellings or per dwelling. (There is no point encouraging and developing cycling if the infrastructure for storage is not built as part of all new developments)
- Specific Proposals
4.1 Chatham St should be closed to vehicles from above Swinton St to the jn with Rock St. Its should be made into a two way cycle route and pedestrian route. This would create a ‘safe’, pleasant space for peds and walkers as a gateway into Woodside.
Vehicle traffic at Bridgehouses should be advised “no through rd” up to Pitsmoor. Chatham St between Mowbray St and Swinton St should have a two-way segregated cycle path and a single lane for up-coming traffic. It would involve some reworking of Bridgehouses for cyclists but, hey, if it can be done for buses then it can be done for active sustainable travel.
4.2 A route through Stanley Fields from Chatham St to Wood Fold should be created. This would connect to the path at Parkwood Springs across Rutland Rd from Woodfold. This would then give the opportunity to create a walking and cycling route (part leisure/part utility) from Millsands and the proposed grey-green route on West Bar/Castlegate all the way up to the top of Parkwood Springs (possibly one of the best viewpoints of the city)
4.3 Woodside Lane provides access to the site from Neepsend, Kelham Island and Shalesmoor. It should be a 20mph road and be car access for residents only. It should be surfaced and lit to encourage people to walk and cycle on it.
4.4 The original connection of Woodside Lane to Wood Fold should be restored (currently within the factory site) This would provide an alternative walking and cycling route to going up Rutland Rd and onto a route into Parkwood Springs.
4.5 Rock St is single alternate lane traffic across the railway bridge. We presume this is a weight restriction imposed by Network Rail. They are responsible for the bridge and it may be many years before it will be strengthened. Meanwhile we propose that the half of the road currently closed is opened up as a pedestrian and cycling route onto Pye Bank Rd and a toucan crossing and/or cyclists lights put on the jn with Chatham St.
4.6 The road on the railway bridge across Pitmoor Rd is narrowed. We assume this railway bridge on Pitsmoor Rd may need strengthening or the present arrangement was an inexpensive way to provide pedestrian barriers on the bridge. At present cyclists set off from Chatham St going up Pitsmoor Rd, they are slow because it is a standing start and usually they are overtaken by vehicles before they reach the narrowed lane. Vehicles are waiting in the opposite lane on the bridge. However the up lane is narrow and vehicles can go through the Chatham St lights and squeeze past (fast) and put cyclists at risk. This issue will still occur if traffic is coming up from Pitsmoor Rd (after the Bridgehouses bus scheme installed in 2015) We propose two solutions to this:
4.6 i) put the stop line on the inbound lane on Pitsmoor Rd back on the bridge like it is for Rock St. This will provide space for outbound vehicles to overtake outbound cyclists as the cyclists get to the other side of the bridge they should be directed onto a cycle way along Pistmoor Rd (see 4.7)
4.6 ii) start the cycleway and footway as a shared use path using the current footway at the town end of the bridge on the outbound lane. This will take them off the narrow section of road across the bridge. There is already a dropped kerb there with tactile paving and cyclists do use this as a route.
4.7 Pitsmoor Rd should have a cycleway and a footway along it. The parking that is presently allowed there should be removed; it obstructs oncoming cyclists forcing them further out into the lane. If the parking was removed then there is plenty of room for both the proposed cycleway and footway. This route would provide active travel access to the proposed housing and also to people making trips to Pitsmoor, Burngreave and beyond.
4.8 We note one key crossing is proposed on Pitsmoor Rd. We think this is too few. Stanley Fields will be housing. The land across the road will be a park. There is housing on the other side of Pye Bank Rd. Families will want to use the linear park and let their kids get to it. The nearest primary school is Pye Bank School and that is up the hill off Andover St and Rock St so families will have to cross this road twice a day. It is a long stretch of road. If there is only one crossing then peds will just run across the road where it suits them. We propose that the following should be considered – more crossings or sections of shared space that have roads and other routes delineated by with different colours and textures with level surfaces between all three. Vehicles should be restricted to 20 mph for this stretch of road, eg narrow the lanes (between the railway bridges and, at least, the end of the development). As new housing is to be developed we propose that there should be bus route along this section of Pitsmoor Rd – and it should be a 20mph bus route
4.9 There is a path from Pye Bank Rd onto Pitsmoor Rd by the railway bridge. This should connect directly to a toucan crossing across Pitsmoor Rd. There should be a ped crossing at the other end of Pye Bank Rd across Pitsmoor Rd. If you’re going to go with crossings there has to be at least one more toucan crossing between these two points than the one proposed.
4.10 There is the possibility to create a pedestrian and cycle route from Pye Bank Road over to Fox St. It is still there as a (disused) ped route with steps. We bring to your attention the cycle route between Shewsbury Rd and the Cholera Monument. We believe some kind of similar devpt in this ‘new’ green space would benefit peds, cyclists and people with pushchairs or in mobility scooters. It would provide access with Andover St, Rock St and Verdon St
4.11 We support a route through the linear park along the path of Pye Bank Rd that allows both walking and cycling (cf path through Norfolk Park) but if it is not lit and not overlooked we do not see it as a strategic cycle route. It would be safer to cycle along a route alongside a 20 mph Pitsmoor Rd that is lit, paved and overlooked.