Disappointment over delays to £330,000 secure bike hub in Telephone House in Sheffield city centre

A cycle hub boss is ‘disappointed’ a £330,000 site in Sheffield city centre has yet to open - despite soaring post-pandemic congestion and bike thefts.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:33 pm

Russell Cutts, of Russell’s Bicycle Shed, said the need for good quality secure cycle parking ‘couldn’t be more urgent’.

He spoke out after Sheffield City Council said the plans were still in development.

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The planned Bike Hub will be in one of these units below Telephone House on Charter Square.

In May, The Star revealed plans for a secure site in a unit on the ground floor of the Telephone House tower on Charter Square.

A tender to manage it was expected in January.

WHAT WOULD THE SECURE BIKE HUB HAVE AND HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST?

Council documents from July state it would include space for 200 bikes, a workshop, bike hire, sales, charging for ebikes and changing rooms with lockers.

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

And the budget had increased to £333,000.

Some £294,000 is set to come from the Local Transport Plan ‘pending the award of Active Travel Funding’.

The documents also state the project was progressing to the design and procurement stage, which includes fit-out.

HOW POPULAR IS THE BIKE HUB AT THE STATION?

It is part of the Heart of the City 2 development.

Mr Cutts said he was keen to run the new bike hub. His facility at Midland Station attracted up to 400 bicycles every day before the pandemic.

With room for 525, it is now set to hit capacity by 2024.

He added: “It's disappointing that the cycle hub plans for the city still haven't become a physical reality yet.

“The last couple of years have been difficult for every business and local authority but the need for good quality secure cycle parking couldn't be more urgent.

“The roads have returned to being congested with car traffic since lockdown ended and many of those journeys could be done by bicycle however bicycle theft has rocketed in the city over the last 12 months and this discourages use.

“We are here ready to help the council realise its plans and create a secure cycle parking facility for users of the city.”

Emily Griffiths, of pressure group Cycle Sheffield, said she thought Active Travel Fund funding had to spent by March 31 2022.

She added: “It’s certainly has been a long time coming - over six years?!”

A Sheffield City Council spokeswoman said plans for the hub were still in development.

In May, the authority said it was seeking funding from the Active Travel Fund and ‘the application process is underway’.

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