Sheffield City Council urged to press ahead with 'stalled' £250,000 bike hub plans

A cycle hub boss has urged Sheffield City Council to press ahead with ‘stalled’ plans for a £250,000 site in the city centre.

By David Walsh
Monday, 24th May 2021, 12:19 pm

Russell Cutts of Russell’s Bicycle Shed at the railway station, said the success of his premises showed cyclists would respond if the facilities were right.

The Shed has been open for six years and pre-pandemic attracted up to 400 bicycles every day. With room for 525, it was set to hit capacity by 2024, he added.

The authority plans to open a cycle hub in a former retail unit in Telephone House on Charter Square by March 2022.

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Russell’s Bicycle Shed attracted up to 400 bikes a day, pre-pandemic, Mr Cutts said.

A tender to manage it was set to be published in January but it was not issued and the project had stalled, Mr Cutts said.

He added: “I’m very interest in running it and now, when things are quiet, is the best time do it. You’ve got to provide quality, secure bike parking to make cycling a viable option for people.

“It’s got to be more convenient than a car or public transport.”

The station facility is behind locked doors opened by a fob purchased by users. It is well-lit, open 7am-7pm and has changing rooms. A new facility should also include space for e-bikes and cargo delivery cycles, which are growing in popularity Mr Cutts added.

Russell Cutts, of Russell’s Bicycle Shed at the railway station.

On the station, thefts had fallen from 42 the year before it opened to 12 the year after, he added.

The business includes a bicycle shop and repair and maintenance workshop. The building is managed by East Midlands Railway.

A Sheffield City Council spokeswoman said funding for the city centre bike hub plan had not yet been agreed.

She added: “The council is seeking funding from the Active Travel Fund and the application process is underway. The proposal is to integrate this within the new city centre developments, and an opportunity to use the space at Telephone House is being considered as an option.

The city centre facility should have dedicated space for cargo bikes, Mr Cutts says.

“We are seeking to complete the works by March 2022 and it is expected to accommodate 200 bikes, including electric and non-standard bikes.

“There is an indicative allocation of £250,000, but this is an estimate at this stage.”

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.