In this new year we are looking to be a bit more active in campaigning for active travel in Sheffield, and looking for your help with it! There is no action too small to support cycling in the city, even riding your bike here helps make the case for better infrastructure. As part of this, we will be having monthly meetings at 6pm first Monday of the month from Monday 5th September 18:00 at the café bar in the Showroom Cinema. After we will send out campaign emails reporting on our meeting and detailing any actions that you are able to do help us campaign.
About 15 of us met on Monday 25th July for our first meeting to discuss what to do next in the campaign. We talked about the state of cycling in Sheffield and what to make our priority to campaign on to make sure more people can cycle. Our discussion ranged from making sure people from all backgrounds are included to options for protests. We decided we wanted to focus on quick and achievable wins for cycling in the city, starting with supporting the existing Connecting Sheffield trials of infrastructure.
Connecting Sheffield Schemes
As some of you will be aware there are a series of schemes that will make cycling in the city in the pipeline under the Connecting Sheffield brand. Whilst we’re excited by scheme that make it easier to walk and cycle, we’ve been disappointed with some of the implementation of these schemes with vandalism from a minority of drivers, not all measures put in and a lack of joining them up to other schemes. These schemes help increase walking and cycling whilst reducing traffic, boost business and reduce crime, whilst claims they slow down emergency services, or cause traffic increases on other roads, and are not based on facts.
The Crookes, Nether Edge and Sheaf Valley scheme are in a trial implementation phase now. This means that these schemes can be amended, as has already happened on Highton Street in Walkley, or removed altogether, like the Shalesmoor cycle lanes were. We’ve been disappointed so far with the partial implementation of these schemes but they are in their trial phase so it is a crucial time for these schemes. At our next meeting we will discuss what we as a group want to build on these schemes to enable people to make journeys by active travel. It’s shown these schemes work best as a network. We will also be bringing press releases for each of the individual schemes to the next meeting. We also endeavoured to put up road open to bikes signs (as pictured at the bottom of this email).
We identified some of most important local politicians for active travel. These are:
· Oliver Coppard – South Yorkshire Mayor
· Terry Fox – Leader, Sheffield City Council
· Julie Grocutt & Mazher Iqbal – Co-chairs of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee
We noted Oliver Coppard has yet to appoint an active travel commissioner following Sarah Storey’s resignation, although he announced on 27th July that the job advert would be out in the next couple of weeks. We also recognised that the new committee system means each individual councillor has more power, particularly those on the transport committee. Any suggestions of help in this area would be much appreciated.
We also identified that a key way of winning support for active travel was through the local press. We are drafting press releases on the Crookes, Nether Edge and Sheaf Valley Connecting Sheffield Schemes.
In other areas the NHS has led on supporting active travel, with one trust even funding an active neighbourhood. In Sheffield there isn’t even secure bike parking at either of the main hospitals but there is an excellent group of staff pushing for improvements (see this article in the star). We aim to reach out to them to support their campaign.
Bike parking at Weston Park, after a cancer patient had moved ‘most’ of the bins out of the way (Credit: Jon Colman)
Sheffield Mass Cycle Rides
After the Dom Whitting Drum and Bass on the bike ride a group of Sheffield cyclists have got together to have monthly rides 14: 00 on the third Sunday of every month. The first was 17th July and the next is Sunday 21st August at 14:00 from Tudor Square. We are aiming to have some press for this event as well as get local councillors attending and it will travel down the new Sheaf Valley cycle route.
Photo of the last ride (Credit Gregg Hewitt)
Further Ahead Strategy
We are looking to be more strategic in how we campaign. If you have any ideas on this, please come along to our next meeting.
Quick Actions you can do to support cycling
1. If you visit, work or travel through the Hallamshire hospital site please fill in this survey on the proposed closure to motor traffic of B-Road. On question 14 please ask for secure cycling parking, of the same quality as the station cycle hub at all sites.
2. If you have 10 minutes to spare, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (who issue money for active travel schemes) are looking to here about you travel in your local neighbourhood, and the results will influence their plans for active travel. Link to survey here.
3. Join the mass bike ride down the Sheaf Valley on Sunday 21st August 14:00 from Tudor Square.
4. Ask your local councillor to come down to the Sheaf Valley Bike Ride. You can email your local councillor using the following link.
5. Join our campaigners WhatsApp group: simply email us (info @ cyclesheffield.org.uk) with your phone number
· 21st August 14:00 from Tudor Square – Sheffield Mass Bike ride down the Sheaf Valley route
· 5th September 18:00 Showroom Café/Bar – Next Cycle Sheffield campaign meeting
Cycle City Active City – For those who are interested and weren’t able to go to Cycle City Active City (The active travel conference held at the start of July) here is a short report from an attendee from outside of Sheffield (Roxanne De Beaux -Executive Director of Cambridge Cycle Campaign) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2mgoznMW7Y&t=3986s
Grey to Green – Angel Street opened on 16th of July. For more information see the report here.
We (and others!) were on BBC Radio Sheffield talking about the Little London Road Cycle Route – listen from 01:19:21 – 01:26:48 and from 02:18:31 – 02:27:50. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0cgdcm1
Councillor Maroof Raouf announced on 27th July that the filter on Rydal Road would be moving to stop rat running traffic on Little London Road and Rydal/Langdale Road. This has been a key ask of residents and we’re thrilled to see this going ahead.