Cyclists’ fears over Sheffield gym short cut

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Biking campaigners in Sheffield have raised safety concerns about traffic around a busy gym on a cycle route.

Members of Cycle Sheffield are worried a gate being left open on the Virgin Active premises, off Broadfield Road, Heeley, is allowing through traffic to use the gym car park as a short cut.

Cycle Sheffield believes the extra vehicles are posing a danger to cyclists using the Sheaf Valley cycle route.

Mike Nott, Cycle Sheffield chairman, said: “Our members say the Virgin Active access gates on to Saxon Road are left open every day.

“It was also confirmed the route through Virgin Active is being used as a thoroughfare or highway.”

Mr Nott said he was aware of at least one cyclist being knocked off their bike by traffic near Virgin Active.

He said: “Police were not involved because the person did not seek accident and emergency help and, as far as we know, has not filed an incident report to complain about the driver.

“However we have evidence – and no doubt – that the gates being open is a hazard.

“Virgin Active has stuck to its planning permission for more than 10 years by ensuring the internal gate was always closed. It has only recently been opened.

“By opening the gate and allowing the traffic to use the car park as a thoroughfare by people other than their customers then Virgin Active has changed the use from solely a car park to also being a highway.”

Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “We are aware of the issues concerning the safety of cyclists using the Sheaf Valley Cycle Route near to the gym.

“I am in contact with the management of the gym locally and we are also raising it with their national office to get this matter resolved.”