Our AGM and social is on Friday the 21st of June at 7pm at the University Arms (S3 7HG).
Becki Cox, Principal Technical Advisor at Living Streets, has been confirmed as the guest speaker. Becki’s background is around urban planning for active travel.
Come along to the annual meeting to find out more, ask questions, provide criticism or heap praise on the activists.
CycleSheffield is your campaign group, so please let us know what you think.
During the past year, CycleSheffield has been very busy campaigning for a cycle friendly city which would enable more people to travel actively.
This short report details some of the highlights, as well as the state of our finances, proposed changes to the constitution and relationship with local government.
For more details, please follow the links to our website or follow us at:
Interactions with SCC Cabinet
For the past few years we have tried to develop a closer working relationship with people of influence in the Sheffield City Council. This has been primarily around Jack Scott in his role as a Cabinet member with responsibility for transport issues.
Prior to his suspension from the Cabinet, Jack was prepared to engage with us, as well as facilitate some meetings with Council Officers about specific issues. This has proved to be very useful. Although we have not always been able to convince Jack and some Officers about the need to be more progressive with active travel campaigning, we hope that we have provided some positive influence.
We have also had good interactions with Ben Curran, former Cabinet member for Finance and Jim Steinke, Cabinet member for Communities.
We have had a very brief chat with Bob Johnson, the current transport portfolio holder and we still hope to engage with Lewis Dagnall, who holds the climate change brief.
The council’s cycle forum is not well attended. No senior councillors or officers attend. However, it remains a useful source of information from the council about their plans.
This year we decided not to hold a ‘Space for Cycling’ Big Ride event. This was a shame, as previous rides have been well attended and we received good feedback from participants. However, they were very time consuming to organise and we felt the campaigning objective of the ride had been lost. It was also increasingly difficult to recruit ride marshals that are essential for the safe running of the event. Instead we have decided to focus on the Lets Ride event on Sunday the 14th of July, the large number of participants (over 10,000 in 2018) means that we have a greater audience for our campaign.
We have the following:
- 1,396 signed up supporters.
- 1,092 people on email list.
- 3,900 followers on Twitter.
- 747 members of the FaceBook chat group.
- 1,546 FaceBook followers.
- 802 followers on Instagram.
This is a very good audience across different communication channels, with generally very good interactions. However, maintaining so many accounts does take a lot of work. Please get in touch if you are interested in helping with one (or more) of these channels.
We have also had numerous appearances on local radio, especially BBC Sheffield. We have received good coverage in the Sheffield Star.
We are proposing to alter the CycleSheffield constitution.
There are no fundamental changes as it is more an attempt to simplify the language and make it more flexible that better reflects the way CycleSheffield is currently run.
The major changes are:
- Objective: a change from “…to improve conditions for cyclists and to encourage cycling for all purposes.” to “…campaign for a cycle friendly city which would enable more people to travel actively.”
- Membership: the option to have paid for membership, although currently we do not and the removal of a range of different types of membership.
- Committee: the requirement to only have three Officers (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) and a committee, instead of membership secretary and trustees, etc.
- Removal of a range of clauses, but still retaining “Any matters not covered by the Constitution may be decided by the committee.”
To change the constitution will “…require a two-thirds majority of those present and voting” at the annual meeting.
Sheffield City Region (SCR)
Prior to his election as Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, we were in contact with Dan Jarvis about his commitment to appoint an Active Travel Commissioner.
We were able to have several conversations with Mayor Jarvis and very pleased with the outcome of the appointment of Dame Sarah Storey. We hope to have a productive relationship with SCR in their aim to put people walking and cycling at the centre of transport planning.
There is progress on the devolution deal although it is slow. Once it is approved it should unlock significant funding for the region. The Mayor is wanting to put active travel at the centre of his transport policy, so full devolution could bring significant improvements for walking and cycling.
We were invited to the Mayor’s Transport Conference on the 7th of May. The report is here.
The CycleSheffield finances are in very good shape with over £7,000 in the bank.
Although there is no fee to join as a supporter, there are many people who continue to donate their previous membership subscription on a regular basis, which was the previous method. We also have had two very generous contributions from Sheffield CTC during the past two years.
This year we have invested in new marketing material.
Over the past few years we have moved away from a formal committee to a group of activists. The aim has been to encourage people to contribute to our campaign in anyway they can, but not necessarily attend meetings.
It is difficult to assess how successful this approach is. However, CycleSheffield continues to have a good profile and has certainly been very busy campaigning.
As with so many campaign groups, CycleSheffield is dependent on volunteer activists. More would be nice.
We have been affiliated to Cycling UK for a number of years and more recently we have developed a closer working relationship with them.
This has mainly been focused around three areas: close passes, the inspiration project and the appointment of the SCR Active Travel Commissioner.
The campaign team at Cycling UK is small and has limited resources, but has been keen to work with us, which has been beneficial. Having good access to the Cycling UK campaign and policy team has provided useful information and advice from a national perspective that has helped shape our local approach.
Cycling UK, along with British Cycling, Living Streets and Sustrans have a joint and developing relationship, with the aim of having a more coordinated campaign approach. We have tried to foster relationships with these other groups, but to date there has been little progress. This is mainly due to a combination of a lack of resources from all parties, including us, to find the time to develop a meaningful relationship. However, this is something that would be beneficial in the longer-term and worth pursuing.
SCC Transport Strategy response
Our response can be found here.
Festival of debate
We had a very good debate about transport poverty as part of the Festival of debate. The full report can be found here.
Transport Committee Pavement Parking Enquiry response
Our response can be found here.
SYPTE Consultation on future of Supertram network
Our response can be found here.
It is common for SCC to stipulate an active travel requirement on planning applications. This can range from the provision of cycle stands to significant new infrastructure.
While this is good to see, the enforcement of such requirements is sometimes poor.
A noticeable example is the new Ikea store. After many years of wrangling, SCC finally gave planning permission, even though Public Health said that more deaths from air pollution would be caused due to increases in vehicle traffic.
Part of the permission was the construction of a cycle path along Sheffield Road/Attercliffe Common. However, SCC made no attempt at enforcing this. CycleSheffield lobbied SCC to try and get things improved, but it soon became apparent that the wording of the condition was incredibly weak, meaning that Ikea could easily ignore it.
The only outcome of this was that SCC agreed that their enforcement was weak on such issues and has created a new planning procedure to avoid a repeat.
The full storey can be seen here.
Election of officers
Assuming the new constitution is approved we will need to appoint 3 officers: a chair, secretary and finance officer. Dexter (secretary) and Helen (finance) have agreed to stand again, however, Ian (Chair) is standing down.