£2.8m Sheffield cycle lane a 'disappointment' that 'does not work' say campaigners
Campaigers have branded a a £2.8m new cycle lane a ‘disappointment’ that ‘does not work’ for failing to separate riders from cars.
Dexter Johnstone of Cycle Sheffield, said their views were not taken on board in the construction of the new route on Trippet Lane.
The scheme involves two painted bike lanes with a narrow strip in the middle for vehicles.
But cyclists say drivers can easily cross the lines, putting them at risk. And retaining parking bays creates a hazard from cars pulling out or opening doors.
When complete, the 700-yard section will run between Portobello Street, Trippet Lane and Pinfold Street. The £2.8m route is being ‘supported by the University Of Sheffield’ and with cash from the Sheffield City Region Local Growth Fund.
Mr Johnstone said: “There's still too much traffic for it to be safe with just paint. We would always prefer protected cycle infrastructure. It’s a disappointment and I don’t like it.
“If I didn’t cycle I wouldn’t be attracted by it - so it doesn’t work.”
Green councillor Douglas Johnson said: “It’s a very disappointing result for the time and money spent on it. It’s been over three years in design and cost over £1 million but still doesn’t feel very safe for cyclists.
“Cyclists are channelled between parked cars – where the doors open into the cycle path – and vehicles coming up the street. In some ways, this is more dangerous than when cyclists travel next to the kerb. Paint is no protection. Given the cost and extent of the construction works, it should have been possible to segregate the cycle path.
“The Rockingham St crossing is particularly dangerous – the promised traffic island has not been built, so cyclists have to stop in a short filter lane for traffic turning up Portobello. Both motorists and cyclists find it confusing.”
Green councillor Ruth Merserau added: “There has been no cycle parking provision on Trippet Lane, despite the numerous bars and restaurants that people could be encouraged to visit by bike, and despite Cyclesheffield including this in their suggestions.”
A Sheffield City Council spokeswoman said they had made Trippet Lane one-way, to reduce traffic. And it had been made narrower to control speed. As a result it did not need segregation.
She added: “At the same time we had to maintain access and servicing. The budget only allowed us to treat this road, whereas given a larger budget we would look at a wider area, perhaps to encourage a further reduction of traffic on Trippet.
“Segregation is only required once peak hour flow reaches a certain level, and by reducing the road to one way we have achieved that.”
It was also a ‘public realm’ scheme.
She added: “There are wider public realm benefits to be achieved as we wanted to create a sense of place that people would stay and use the facilities. It is more than just a through route.”
The spokeswoman said they had kept the parking spaces, despite a multi-storey car park on nearby Portobello Street, to cater for different needs of the users of the area.