CycleSheffield response to Portobello & Trippet Lane cycle route designs

Sheffield Council have designed the next section of the cycle route between the University of Sheffield and the city centre. This section will run along Portobello and Trippet Lane. They have also provided an explanation of the designs.

CycleSheffield support the creation of new cycle routes / infrastructure in Sheffield which we hope will form part of a wider cycle network to enable more people to make more everyday journeys by bike.

The designs are an improvement on what is currently there. It is, however, supposed to be an ‘exemplar’ scheme “guided by examples of international best practice”. The plans deliver positive changes along Portobello but the Trippet Lane section and the Rockingham Street crossing need to be far more ambitious. Currently they fall well short of what is required of one of the city’s key cycling routes.


  • As an access only road Portobello should have low levels of motor traffic and should be suitable for a ‘cycle street’ design with no protected space for cycling. The design includes a “central cycle lane with other motorised traffic taking a lower priority” – to work as intended this priority needs to be clearly indicated to all road users.
  • We would like the cycle street to have ‘cycle street. cars are guests’ signs. A Dutch example pictured, below.


  • For the scheme to work it is vital to restrict parking to marked parking bays only.
  • We welcome the use of continuous footways across side roads and site entrances. However, it appears that the kerblines continue around junctions. This reduces the visual continuity of the footway, causing confusion about priority and therefore an unsafe environment for people walking. An example of how a footway (and cycle track) should continue along a side street can be found, below (image courtesy of The Ranty Highwayman).

Rockingham Street crossing

  • The current design for the cycle route’s crossing of Rockingham Street is not acceptable. It requires that people walking and cycling cross two lanes of busy traffic with little protection. In addition, the arrangement at the junction of Trippet Lane puts people cycling in all directions in direct conflict with motor vehicle turning movements.
  • An alternative design can be seen, below.
  • In this proposal, a continuous footway has been included across the Portobello junction with Rockingham Street, in the interest of pedestrian safety and amenity, and signify the change to the low speed, active travel priority environment of Portobello. Motor traffic exiting Trippet Lane would be required to turn right only, removing conflict with ahead cycle and pedestrian movements. Cycles would approach the junction from protected cycle tracks along Trippet Lane, and diverted away from the junction slightly to crossing points. Cycles and pedestrians would still be required to give way, but refuges would be provided at both crossing points to ensure only one lane needs to be crossed at a time. The refuges would be clearly marked as a continuation of the route, and at least 2.8 metres deep to accommodate the length of the cycle design vehicle. This will still allow for adequate general traffic lane widths on Rockingham Street.
  • The traffic calming raised table in the SCC design needs to be extended so that the pedestrian crossings also benefit from it, currently it only covers the cycle crossings.

Trippet Lane

  • We do not support the designs for Trippet Lane. Trippet Lane is currently used to route motor traffic from the city centre towards Rockingham Street and Broad Lane. As a result there is too much traffic for painted on-road cycle lanes to be appropriate. An alternative route needs to be found this for motor traffic or protected space for cycling needs to be created along Trippet Lane. This could be a bi-directional protected cycle lane on the north side or protected lanes on either side of the road. There is sufficient space for protected cycle lanes whilst retaining the one-way road.
  • It is very disappointing that painted cycle lanes on the outside of parked cars are still being proposed in new designs in Sheffield. This creates a hazard if cyclists are forced to swerve to avoid a car pulling out or an opening door. Instead of placing people cycling in-between parked cars and motor traffic a much better place would be on the others side of the parked cars, between the footpath and the parking bays as you can see in the example, below.

  • For the scheme to work it is vital to restrict parking to marked parking bays only.
  • The connection with the existing short bi-directional bike lane on Townhead Street/Pinfold Street is confusing.  People on bikes coming up the contraflow lane on Townhead Street will enter Pinfold Street on the “wrong” cycle lane and have then to cross to the outbound lane, to the confusion of people heading towards town and more significantly to the surprise of drivers entering from Leopold Street.
  • We welcome the proposal for continuous footways but it should be continuous over all side roads and site entrances. A consistent approach is required so all road users become familiar with the concept. It is missing at the junctions/entrances circled in red, below.

  • As mentioned previously the kerblines on continuous footways should not continue around the junctions of side roads or site entrances.
  • We support the proposals for wider pavements, planters and seating as well as allowing businesses to use outside areas for customers which we hope will assist in developing business support for more people friendly streets in our city. 

Holly Lane

  • Holly Street is mentioned in the text but improvements do not feature in the designs apart from a short cycle contraflow which does not connect up to anything further up the street. It would be helpful if Sheffield Council clarified what their intentions are even if it is outside the scope of this particular scheme.

Western suburbs

  • The text states that the route will run between the city centre and ‘nearby western suburbs’ however the designs do not show this. It would be helpful if Sheffield Council clarified what their intentions are even if it is outside the scope of this particular scheme. 

Cycle stands

  • This new scheme should include the provision of extra cycle stands which will be required especially on Trippet Lane in front of bars, restaurants and cafes.

Please be more ambitious

  • “Trippet Lane will have a slightly different treatment to Portobello, due to the higher levels of motorised traffic, but we will still try to provide a cycle / pedestrian friendly environment”. This is supposed to be an exemplar cycle route – Sheffield Council needs to be more ambitious in both their designs and their statements about active travel.

4 thoughts on “CycleSheffield response to Portobello & Trippet Lane cycle route designs

  1. Your statements and own designs are really professional. Hope City Council will consider most of it.
    Does City Council have one person or a small team being responsible only for the cycling network?

    From my view, save cycling connections from the student villages Ranmoor (Fulwood Road!!) and Endcliffe are even more important than Portobello road.

    With the new road design along A57 (Firth Court), cycling is less save as before, as the bus lane changes in front of Weston Park from the very left to the middle lane.

    Good luck for your work for 2018!

    1. Hi, thanks for your feedback!

      The council has a team of transport planners and highway engineers but I don’t think any of them are exclusively responsible for cycling.

      I agree that whilst it is nice to have good cycling infra in the city centre it is more important to have high quality cycle links from the suburbs into the centre (and all this would link together in the longer term to form a Sheffield wide cycle network).

  2. A comment on your alternative proposal for the Rockingham Street junction.:

    I am slightly concerned that the narrow end to the cycle land along Portobello St. combined with the proximity to the offset cycle crossings (found in Rockingham-2-768×540.png) would encourage some eastbound cyclists to continue straight across Rockingham St. & ‘salmon’ along the first portion of Trippet Ln. Combining the wider bell (found on Consult-plan_Porto-1.pdf) with the continuous footway, to make it easier to reach the cycle crossing without riding on the footway or having two tight corners (similar to my poorly drawn adaptation of your design:

    Also the inclusion of a ‘Yellow box’ on the Southbound side of Rockingham St. (like that found at the junction of Glossop Rd. & Claremont Pl.) would ease motor traffic queuing on Trippet Ln. and make crossing on the cycle route safer and faster as it would lessen the chance of the cycle crossing being blocked by vehicles backing up from the junction of Rockingham St. & West St. (I’ve experienced this frequently during the evening peak)

    A comment on the Townhead St. / Leopold St. / Pinfold St. / Campo Ln. Juction:

    I was previously Unaware that the section of existing cycle lane on Townhead St. was bi-directional, as it seems too narrow to support bi-direction running. I had previously used the right turn light, waiting on the near side or in the hatched section – as this area of the road is mostly unused.

    I see two possible solutions for this junction:
    A) The traffic island between the existing bi-directional cycle lane is removed or narrowed to a protective kerbline, this would remove pedestrian refuge on the crossing & require the pedestrian crossing to also cross the cycle lane, thus needing bicycle traffic lights to protect the crossing.

    B) An ASL on the top of Townhead St. for both right turning and straight on traffic. This second option also includes an easier route for cyclists traveling from Townhead St. towards the Town Hall.
    Both are sketched out here:

    A further comment concerning the parking bays on Portobello St.:

    If they were to be footway level like the bays found along West St.. This would make the narrow footway slightly more friendly to pedestrians.

    Maybe these ideas might help or not, they are by no means perfect, but some may be a start for some conversation.


    1. Hi. Thanks for your comments, it’s great to hear ideas about how we can improve these designs. I agree that the angle of Portobello as it meets Rockingham Street could cause people to cycle across on the wrong side. We could amend it so that the cycle street meets the continuous footway at a 90° angle. The problem with the splayed junction you’ve drawn is that motor vehicles would probably also use it when turning left, putting them in conflict with the cycle crossing. Bollards could be used on the footway to prevent vehicles turning at too wide-an-angle?

      I also agree that parking bays at footway level are a good way of providing extra width when not in use as parking, but ultimately I think we’d prefer to see cyclways behind any parking, considering the traffic volume on Trippett Lane.

      As for the Townend Street junction with the odd but of cycleway, it is rather rubbish and definitely needs redesigning. Your design looks good, but I’d probably suggest an even more comprehensive rethink, as ASLs aren’t great and won’t enable l the levels of cycling Sheffield should be aiming for.

      It would be great to hear your thoughts on other schemes, too. Our next social event is on Monday 5th Feb at the University Arms at 19.00 if you fancy popping by?

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