Sheffield Council are currently consulting on their Transport Vision. It is quite a readable document but if you’ve not got time to read the whole thing the most important pages are 14 to 18. To take part in their survey please use this link: Sheffield Transport Vision questionnaire. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. The consultation closes on Tuesday the 6th of February.
We have read through the vision and written a response below.
If you have any questions about the Transport Vision please come along to our next social meeting at 7pm on Monday the 5th of February at the University Arms (S3 7HG). Councillor Jack Scott (cabinet member for transport) will be discussing the vision with us.
SCC transport vision: CycleSheffield response
CycleSheffield welcome the release of Sheffield Council’s transport vision.
It provides an honest overview of the problems with, and caused by, Sheffield’s transport system as well as a convincing and positive vision of how these problems can be resolved – creating a transport system fit for a 21st century city.
The vision has provided a comprehensive justification to reduce the use of the private car and increase the use of public transport, walking and cycling.
We hope the vision is adopted as quickly as possible and we look forward to the release of the resulting transport strategy.
What we like:
We support all the proposals listed under ‘Our Options for changing travel’.
We welcome the vision’s recognition that active travel and public transport are vital for Sheffield’s future transport system. These are more space efficient forms of transport which also do not create the problems (air pollution, inactivity etc) which private car use does.
We support the proposed ‘road classification’. The current system of mixing all modes of transport is inefficient and reduces the attractiveness of those (active travel and public transport) which need to be prioritised. However, this support is qualified in ‘comments/clarification required’ section.
We strongly support the creation of segregated cycle routes which would form part of a wider cycle network to enable more people to make more journeys by bike.
It is vital that SCC develops its own funding streams to pay for this work required by this ambitious vision, particularly given that the current funding models used by DfT and SCR are incompatible with this vision. We therefore support the introduction of a Workplace Parking Levy and any other effective road pricing schemes. The experience of the Nottingham scheme has been very positive, contributing to a reduction in congestion and providing additional funding for alternatives to private car use.
The targets for active travel in conditional outputs [page 18] seems very low and do not match the ambitions of the vision. The target for walking is only to maintain current levels, although the text states the aim is to increase walking [page 14]. The target for cycling is only to increase to around 4% of journeys by 2034 (quadrupling the current level of under 1%). We believe if the vision is realised active travel should increase substantially and so the council should adopt more ambitious targets. The Propensity to Cycle modelling shows that Sheffield could attain a cycle modal share of 24 to 27%.
Sheffield City Region’s draft transport strategy [page 8] aims to achieve a mode share of 11% of journeys by bike by 2040, Sheffield Council’s vision is therefore not aligned with the region.
Whilst we support the road classification proposals, it is vital that if there is no provision for active travel and public transport on ‘key corridors for private car trips’ [page 14] then alternative, convenient, safe, reliable and direct routes need to be created for these modes which are to be prioritised.
The vision states ‘Sustainable modes (cycling, walking and public transport) should be seen as the first option for travel’ [page 5]. Sheffield council need to state what this means in practice – these modes must be given top priority in both transport and development schemes, and schemes that enable more active travel or public transport use must be prioritised over schemes for private car trips.
‘Public transport trips include a walk at either end’ [page 9] should be amended to state ‘walk or cycle’. Cycling will increase the catchment area for public transport hubs far more than walking.
‘Provisions for pedestrians and cyclists would respond to the level of danger posed by the motorised traffic using the street’ [page 14]. It is important to acknowledge that actual danger is not the only issue which prevents people from cycling or walking, the perception of danger as well as whether it is enjoyable and convenient is also important. Cycling through gridlocked streets is not very dangerous but neither is it enjoyable or convenient and most people will not choose to do so.
‘Pedestrians will continue to have access across the whole network. We will design our streets to enable people whose mobility may be impaired to travel easily’ [page 16]. It is important to recognise that many disabled people find cycling easier than walking – this is often overlooked and we urge you to look at the excellent work done by Wheels for Wellbeing on this issue.
To make it clearer that investing in cycling is not about providing for existing cycle enthusiasts, the council needs to use more inclusive images of cycling in its documents. It should avoid reinforcing an image of cycling as a hazardous sport, but rather something accessible to all kinds and ages of people in normal daily life.
We support the renewal and extension of the tram network in Sheffield [page 16] . However, any existing or new routes need to have safe, separate provision for cycling. CycleSheffield has received over 500 tram / cycle accident reports since January 2015. People cannot be expected to cycle on roads with such a hazard. Additionally, consideration should be given to allowing bicycles to be transported on the trams during off-peak periods.