According to the council’s website, the Shalesmoor Gateway scheme aims to:
- make significant improvements to the road layout
- provide priority for public transport
- include more segregated active travel infrastructure to balance the range of demands
- improve travel in the area for all road users
- improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists
The scheme plan can be viewed here.
The current design of this scheme will not achieve these aims and also conflicts with Sheffield City Council’s aim to be a zero-carbon city by 2030. An aim the council say will be achieved in part by prioritising moving around by walking, cycling and public transport and significantly reducing private car journeys. ‘The proportion of trips by car reduce by 66% from current levels to 20% of all trips, through mode shift’ (‘Pathways to Zero Carbon in Sheffield’ Arup report, page 51).
The main problems with the current scheme are the extensive use of ‘shared space’ for people walking and cycling, the removal of existing crossings for people walking and cycling, the use of ‘staggered or multi-stage crossings for people walking and cycling, the lack of any new cycling provision and road widening to increase capacity for motor vehicles.
Shared space for people walking and cycling
“Shared use routes in streets with high pedestrian or cyclist flows should not be used” Department for Transport (DfT) Local Transport Note (LTN) 1/20 page 11. LTN 1/20 is the most recent set of cycle infrastructure standards.
The scheme introduces a large amount of shared space for people walking and cycling which is contrary to modern cycle design guidance. For example the footpath on the south side of Shalesmoor to the Hoyle Street toucan crossing, north to the tram stop and then along Penistone Road to Bedford Street will become shared space – a convoluted route for people cycling compared to the direct one provided for motor vehicles.
The proposed shared space also appears to be very narrow.
The following pedestrian/toucan crossings are being removed as part of this scheme:
The crossing of Penistone Road just north of Bedford Street, the crossing of Hoyle Street by the roundabout, the crossing of Shalesmoor by roundabout and the crossing of Penistone Road by roundabout.
The removal of these crossings makes this area even more difficult to travel by walking and cycling and increases the severance of Kelham and Shalesmoor by these large roads.
Use of staggered or multi-stage crossings
“Cycle routes should be at least as direct – and preferably more direct – than those available for private motor vehicles.” DfT LTN 1/20 page 10.
‘Cycle crossings at junctions and across links should not be staggered.’ DfT LTN 1/20 page 94.
The scheme introduces a number of staggered or multi-stage pedestrian/toucan crossings, contrary to modern design standards, for example on Penistone Road just south of Bedford Street, on Hoyle Street and on St Phillips Road.
Staggered crossings create unnecessary delays for people walking and cycling to cross main roads making active travel journeys less attractive.
It appears that some of the crossings will be difficult to negotiate by non-standard cycles (for example trikes or cargo bikes) because of the small waiting area in the middle of the road, for example the crossing over Penistone Road just south of Bedford Street.
No new cycle links / facilities as part of the scheme
The Propensity to Cycle ‘Go Dutch’ modelling which the council use to plan cycle infrastructure shows this is a key area for cycling improvements. However, aside from the Rutland Road toucan crossing no new cycle infrastructure is proposed and the existing severance (across Penistone Road, Hoyle Street and Shalesmoor) for cycle trips is not addressed. This is a massive missed opportunity.
The scheme includes road widening which will increase capacity for motor vehicles and therefore induce demand for motor vehicle trips – contrary to the council’s transport and climate aims.
Examples of road widening in the scheme:
‘Parallel widening on A61 mainline for new dedicated left turn lane for Rutland Road’, ‘Parallel widening on Rutland Road mainline to allow 3 lanes on the approach to the junction’ and a new left hand turn lane on Hoyle Street created by narrowing the pavement.
Slip road into Cornish Lane is too wide/sweeping allowing higher vehicle speeds.
Doncaster Street pedestrian crossing remains unsignalised.
Montgomery Terrace crossing remains unsignalised.
The scheme states that traffic is a major problem in the Shalesmoor Gateway area. Increasing vehicle capacity does not solve traffic issues, instead it induces further demand. We do not understand why modal shift from car journeys to walking, cycling and public transport is not being attempted in this scheme. The council should explain how long the car journeys through the Shalesmoor Gateway are and why they need to be made by car, in 2022 the aim of the council should be to provide better alternatives to driving rather than extra capacity for driving.
This scheme will make the alternatives to driving worse. The removal of pedestrian crossings and the use of multi-stage crossings will make walking more difficult and slower. This is particularly bad for access from Shalesmoor tramstop to Kelham and Shalesmoor where many pedestrian journeys have been made more difficult.
The scheme will also make cycling much worse in this area. The Propensity to Cycle modelling demonstrates the possibility of significant modal shift to cycling in this area. This scheme does not create any cycle routes, or provide any significant cycling upgrades in the area. The entire Shalesmoor Gateway scheme acts as a significant barrier to cycling in the area with low quality shared space and multi-stage toucan crossings – both of which are contrary to modern cycle design standards.
We do not support this scheme in its current form. Please bring this scheme back when it involves a significant improvement for walking. cycling and public transport.