Supertram Consultation

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive are running a consultation on the future of the Supertram  which finishes on the 30th of October.

http://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/tramfuture/

Whilst a good mass transit system is essential for Sheffield the on-road tracks of the current system cause large numbers of accidents and injuries to people on bikes. They also act as a barrier to more people cycling.  The lack of integration with cycling is also a problem.

CycleSheffield have responded to the consultation. Our answers are below. We urge you to respond to the consultation as well.

Section 1: The Future of Supertram

1.1 Do you think the tram is an important mode of transport for the region in the future?      

Yes

1.2 Please tell us why you think this

The tram system reduces congestion on the roads by providing an alternative to car use, it does not contribute to Sheffield’s air pollution problem and is an efficient way of moving large numbers of people around the city.

The tram tracks, however, are the biggest hazard and cause of accidents and injuries to cyclists in Sheffield and act as a barrier to more people cycling. Any renewal or expansion of the system needs to take this into account and provide safe cycling routes and crossings designed in from the start.

1.3 Do you think the tram will bring future benefits to the region?

Yes

1.4 Please tell us why you think this

A fast, efficient and pleasant way of getting employees and consumers into the city centre from throughout Sheffield will attract inward investment from employers and retailers.

The tram tracks, however, are the main cause of accidents and injuries to cyclists in Sheffield and stop people cycling. Renewal or expansion of the system needs to  provide safe cycling routes and crossings.

1.5 What would you like the future for the existing tram system to look like, thinking ahead to the next 30 years? 

The tram network should be expanded to cover all areas of the city. There should be a single integrated Tram/Rail interchange in the City Centre. Trams should run right to the doorsteps of major hospitals and into major employment areas.   

The delivery of the Tram Network should be accompanied by parallel, separate cycle routes. There should be park and ride facilities along the tram route for cyclists and drivers. For example at Dore village, Hunters Bar, Hillsborough, Heeley. Shared Tram routes with cars, buses should be minimised.    

Tram tracks are the main cause of accidents and injuries to cyclists in Sheffield and act as a barrier to more people cycling. Renewal or expansion of the tram system needs to  provide safe cycling routes and crossings.

Trams should carry bikes to allow better integration between cycling and public transport, as they do in Edinburgh, on the Newcastle Metro and London Underground.

Better integration between tram and cycling infrastructure has the potential to greatly increase patronage by extending the reach of the tram network. For example, by providing bike stands and secure bike storage at tram stops together with cycle routes to the tram stops.

Section 2: Your Experience of Supertram

2.1 How would you rate the tram overall?

Good.

2.2 Please tell us why you think this 

The tram provides a quick, reasonably priced, non polluting public transport link for parts of the city. The network is quite limited in coverage.

The tram tracks, however, are the biggest hazard and cause of accidents and injuries to cyclists in Sheffield and act as a barrier to more people cycling. Any renewal or expansion of the system needs to take this into account and provide safe cycling routes and crossings designed in from the start.

4 thoughts on “Supertram Consultation

  1. In May 2015 I bought 55mm width treads. I used my bike along tram tracks day until August 2015 and never had an incident of getting a wheel stuck. Perhaps wider tyre treads are a more pragmatic solution than expensive infrastructure changes?

    1. I think proper cycling infrastructure in Sheffield will do more to encourage larger numbers of people to start cycling, and this infrastructure would included separate cycle routes along busy roads, main roads and roads with tram tracks.

      As the Sheffield City Region is bidding for large sums of money from the DfT to renew and extend the tram network I think it is a good idea to highlight the problems that the tram tracks cause for people on bikes so this is taken into account when the network is redesigned.

    2. I cycle daily into Sheffield from Mosborough and have done so for the last 3 years,I try to avoid the tram tracks as much as possible but find myself crossing them at some point most days depending on the route I choose to take,I ride a variety of bikes with different widths of tyres and have been brought down three times by the tracks,on all of these occasions the cause has not been the wheel going in the rail but slipping on the rail when there has been any sort of amount of moisture on the rail.

    3. Wider tyres may prevent your tyres getting stuck IN the tram tracks but wouldn’t have saved me when my tyres simply slid ALONG the tram track when crossing at the best angle I could manage on a wet evening. I doubt that infrastructure changes could help either, however, travelling by car instead certainly does. Andrew.

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