Around £200 million is being spent on transport infrastructure projects in the Sheffield City Region (Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham).
Major schemes being funded in Sheffield itself include:
- Bus Rapid Transit North (Sheffield to Rotherham) – £34m
- Supertram rail replacement – £30m
- Tram train (Sheffield to Rotherham) – £51m
- Meadowhall Park and Ride car park expansion – £5m
- Better Bus schemes for Penistone Road, Gleadless, Chesterfield Road, north Sheffield and the city centre (these are primarily road widening schemes to install peak time bus lanes) – £10m
You can see the details in the Sheffield City Region 2016/17 capital expenditure budget:
There isn’t a single cycle infrastructure project on the list. Neither are there any being planned for the future (see the schemes in the section “Preparation for Implementation in Future Years”).
We are told there isn’t any money for cycling infrastructure but this is misleading. No money has been made available for cycling schemes; however, there is plenty of infrastructure money available. It’s a case of priorities. Long-term capital funding has been obtained for the region’s public transport ambitions, but not for cycling.
Sheffield Council claim they want to get 10% of all journeys made by bike by 2025, rising to 25% by 2050.The figure is currently around 0.8% according to the council’s most recent traffic survey.
How do they intend to do encourage more people to make their journeys by bike given the poor quality existing infrastructure in Sheffield (highlighted in the Sheffield Star just last week – http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/video-just-how-safe-are-sheffield-s-cycle-lanes-1-7967281) with nothing new being funded or planned?
To help resolve congestion, air pollution and people’s inactivity other cities such as London, Leicester and Manchester are investing money in high quality cycling infrastructure to give people the freedom to make their journeys by bike.
Why are these cities able to fund cycle infrastructure improvements but the Sheffield City Region is not? The authorities in South Yorkshire are doing nothing and the region is being left behind as a result.