New Sheffield cycle lane puts lives at risk

Risk: Matt Turner approaches the cycle lane as a bus prepares to turn. Photo: Steve Ellis.
Risk: Matt Turner approaches the cycle lane as a bus prepares to turn. Photo: Steve Ellis.
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CHANGES to a Sheffield road junction are putting bikers at risk because their narrow lane is often overshot by turning buses, a cyclist has warned.

Matt Turner, aged 26, has posted a video on the Cycle Sheffield internet forum with the heading ‘The most dangerous cycle lane in Sheffield?’.

It refers to the new right turn lane at the bottom of Pinstone Street.

The red cycle lane has been created as part of changes to the junction with Furnival Gate, which have included pedestrianising the middle of the junction to motor vehicles and narrowing the junction of Pinstone Street and Cambridge Street to prevent it being used by U-turning traffic.

Only cyclists are allowed to turn right but the lane runs through a section of the pedestrianised area which is lowered so it can be used by vehicles in an emergency.

Matt, from Hillsborough who works for internet provider Plusnet, said: “The width of the main carriageway lane has been reduced to such an extent that drivers turning left onto Furnival Gate are forced to drive into the cycle lane. In my opinion, this is a very bad design and it is only a matter of time before there is a collision.

“When councils put a piece of red paint on the ground, most cyclists will head straight for it assuming it is the safest place to be.

“Unfortunately, this is the most dangerous place to be at this junction because the majority of vehicles need to drive into it in order to make the turn.

“Cycling is normally very safe and very few cyclists in Sheffield have accidents.

“In my opinion, the highways team involved in this needs to visit the junction on bikes and try to use it,” said Matt.

John Bann, head of transport at the council, said Mr Turner’s comments would be considered in a safety audit.

He said: “Changes at this particular junction are trying to do four things: give some priority to cyclists, provide an emergency right turn, prevent dangerous U-turns on Cambridge Street and, most importantly, maintain safety for pedestrians.

“We have tried to improve things for all road users and the balance of the measures will be the subject of the final road safety review and all comments will be considered.”

Should more be done to make cycling safer in Sheffield? Email: letters@thestar.co.uk.