We were told that there wasn’t enough money to provide good cycle facilities as part of the Grey to Green scheme, that the busy pavement will be shared use and ‘confident cyclists’ can use the busy but narrowed road but then discovered that £160,000 of savings have been made on the scheme but were earmarked to be spent on public art instead of the high quality protected cycle path needed.
We asked CycleSheffield supporters to take action and email their local councillors. Many, many of you did!
Cllr Terry Fox, Cabinet member for Transport issued a response but we were not convinced by several of the points and CycleSheffield supporters continued to push for safe space for cycling as part of the Grey to Green scheme.
Update as of 08/06/15
Cabinet Meeting on Wednesday 27th May
The decision to spend the money on public art (which was due to be approved) was deferred. A future meeting will be arranged to discuss what the money should be spent on.
Full Council Meeting on Wednesday 3rd June
Cllr Jack Clarkson of Stocksbridge & Upper Don tabled a very supportive motion calling (amongst other things) for…
“a proportion of [the] underspend should be used to provide a ‘safe space’ for cycling, as part of the grey to green scheme in Sheffield City Centre, and further believes that, although much has been done in relation to cycle lanes etc., further work to encourage more younger and elderly cycle users could be done.” Full motion Item 15 here.
The local Labour Party put forward an amendment which drastically altered the content of the motion, but crucially included –
That this Council…
“notes that the meeting of the Cabinet on 27 th May 2015 resolved that a report would be submitted to a future meeting on all suitable options on the underspend on the Grey to Green Scheme and confirms that the use for cycling will be considered as part of this, alongside other considerations.” Full amendment Item 11, here
Signing off the decision to spend the money on public art was a formality which would almost definitely have gone ahead had it not been for the sheer number of emails sent by CycleSheffield’s supporters so a big thank you!
We have secured more time, and the opportunity for this use of the money to be scrutinised and for cycling to be considered once more.
It has been really heartening to see some local councillors really stepping up, listening to their constituents and reflecting their views. This campaign is just one of the ways CycleSheffield supporters are pushing walking and cycling up the political agenda locally.