Little London Road filter – data!

*Updated with data from a count on the 07/02/23*

Please sign the petition to the council calling them to complete and extend the Sheaf Valley Route!

Living in Greenhill, I was pleased to see the Little London Road (LLR) get filtered, as it would give me a safer cycle route to the City Centre (and on my way to work).

I’m a fan of numbers, and data. I thought it would be interesting (if only for me!) to see how the numbers of people walking and cycling on LLR changed over the coming years.

So, on Thursday, August 11th, I counted people walking and cycling, through the LLR, and Rydal Road filters. For one hour, between 7:45 and 8:45am. I then continued on to work.

I tweeted the results, and this seemed to be well received, so I repeated the survey on October 4th, and October 20th.

The 2 dates in October allowed for a comparison between lovely, and awful weather – see below for the results:

August 11th : 135 people : 60 cyclists / 75 pedestrians. The concrete blocks had only been in place for a few days, I thought this would be a good opportunity to record a benchmark.

October 4th : 176 people : 85 cyclists / 91 pedestrians. 40% increase in cyclists, 20% increase in pedestrians (compared to August).

October 20th (rain) : 168 people : 79 cyclists / 89 pedestrians. 32% increase in cyclists, 21% increase in pedestrians (compared with August).

February 7th: (very cold) 215 people – 88 cyclists / 127 pedestrians. 46% increase in cyclists, 69% increase in pedestrians (compared to August).

I initially started this survey with a view to repeating it next year, but it seems there is some value in more month-by-month detail, and it’s also clear that *something* has changed in Sheffield, there are visibly more people cycling, the results from the surveys back this up.

And we finally have an answer to the question : how many people will ride in the rain? = 93% of those who ride when it’s dry (mudguards and a jacket make a massive difference!). Although the gap was closing fast towards the end of the rainy-count, it’s easy to guess that many people hit the snooze button, hoping the rain would pass!

It is no stretch to suggest that hundreds of people are already making use of the Sheaf Valley Route. I’ve literally counted them.

I was joined for the 20th October survey, by councillor Maroof Raouf, it was dark and raining – his company was much appreciated!

 It is important to consider the following things :

1)     The results represent a single hour. The totals for the entire day would of course be much higher.

2)     There is no pavement under the railway bridge, pedestrians are forced into the road – on a double-blind bend. It was a dangerous position for pedestrians before the filter, this increase in safety is very welcome.

3)     The rest of the ‘Sheaf Valley Cycle Route’ remains very much unimproved, The numbers of users will obviously increase significantly once the full route is completed. Please contact your councillors to ask that delivery is sped up!

Personally, I have changed my commuting habits to make use of Little London Road, riding to work three times a week. This is saving me at least £40/month, given the rising cost of living I cannot afford for the traffic filters to be removed!

Adam Wiles

13 thoughts on “Little London Road filter – data!

  1. Great work
    This filter is the best Sheffield cycle improvement in the last few years but extending the Sheaf route on Little London Road would also be a big step forward

  2. Thank you Adam, Sheffield needs more people like you.
    I cycle through there a lot. The filter is such a relief!

  3. While its true going under the bridge is potentially dangerous to pedestrians, this could also be tackled by building a pavement, perhaps with protective railing, under the bridge, and reducing traffic to one direction only.
    The latter could be achieved either by making the entire road one-way to traffic, or for 2 way traffic, using traffic lights, or direction priority signs.
    It’s good that numbers of cyclists and pedestrians are going up, but what should the level of usage be compared to? How many cyclists and pedestrians are on the corresponding section of Abbeydale Rd say?

  4. Thanks Adam, your research is welcome and the figures encouraging. Just a little word on the data though, more people cycling and walking down Little London Road doesn’t necessarily mean more people cycling and walking overall, or people turning away from cars. More likely, people are changing their usual routes, or travelling more overall (in cars and actively). Therefore, schemes like Little London Road are great for safety and pleasant travelling experiences, but to get people to shift from one practice to the other, these schemes need to be put in place on much more convenient routes, such as Abbeydale road itself.

    1. Completely agree. Abbeydale is the flattest and most direct route to town from many places. SCC must stop avoiding the issues and invest heavily.

      Adam well done on the count and providing at least some data!

  5. Hi, I’m a trainee journalist for Sheffield Wire looking to investigate as to why Little London Road is currently closed and what it means for the community. Would you be open to talking to me about your views on it? Kind regards

  6. Unfortunately there is an e-petition on the council website to re-open the filter to cars and it has 642 signatures so far. Is it worth starting another one to keep it the way it is now?

  7. Well done Adam. I imagine it’s difficult getting stats that prove anything but you have to start somewhere and this looks a useful exercise to me. I very occasionally used to drive along Little London Rd from the Woodseats end because I use Smiths Autos for car MOT, repairs etc. However, the road closure was not a problem as I just had to alter my route slightly by driving down Chesterfield Rd past the retail park, left next to BMI under the bridge and back along Little London Rd. So as a motorist using the road occasionally, I’m fine with the continued closure, but would agree with other comments regarding the need to introduce measures on the main arterial routes as well + some long term plan to introduce a mass transit system like trams. They used to go along Abbeydale Rd and Chesterfield Rd to Meadowhead.

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