New £1m Sheffield cycle route is 'too dangerous to use'

A cycle improvement zone which cost almost £1m in Broomhall is so dangerous that cyclists are avoiding it, according to residents.

Monday, 30th April 2018, 10:32 am
Updated Monday, 30th April 2018, 10:36 am
Pictured (from left) are Beth Cole with children Annabelle and Danielle, Sally Taylor, Peter Burridge, Mike Nichod, Linda Kirk, and Marie Lowe with Billy Lowe.

Sheffield City Council and Amey completed work of the scheme at Easter - which made Broomhall Road one-way for cars and two-way for cycles and effectively narrowed the stretch to single file.

But residents have said that motorists are ignoring the one-way signs, and cyclists are forced into illegal oncoming traffic when they turn left from Park Lane.

Broomhall Road at the junction with Park Lane, which residents say is dangerous for cyclists.

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Parents whose children attend 170-plus place Broomhall Road Nursery say that dropping off and collecting their youngsters has become chaotic.

There are now just three available parking spaces outside the school - with many being forced to either park a distance from the building ot pull up on double yellow lines and usher their children across the road.

Vehicles are also rat-running around neighbouring streets to avoid Broomhall Road, and the council had failed to listen to residents’ concerns or consult them properly over the £920,000 scheme, they said.

Mum Beth Cole, 36, from Greenhow Street, Walkley, said: “In the morning you have to try to park in one of three spaces and they are always full. You can’t turn around because it is now one way, so you have to park a long way away. Then I have to struggle to get a baby and a toddler out of the car and up to the nursery gates. It’s an outstanding nursery so parents bring their children from all over. The whole thing has added a good 25 minutes onto my morning commute.

Broomhall Road at the junction with Park Lane, which residents say is dangerous for cyclists.

“When we first raised it with the council they suggested we pull up on double yellows and let the children run across the road. My youngest is only three months, so he’d have to crawl.”

On its website, Sheffield City Council says the purpose of the scheme is to “improve the cycle and walking connections from Broomhall into the city centre”.

To do this they have:

Removed long-stay commuter parking “to improve safety and comfort for people cycling between the city centre and Collegiate Crescent”;

Increased footway widths to improve walking links;

Changed the road between Victoria Road and Park Lane to one-way (in the direction of Broomhall Street) to discourage through traffic and generally reduce the amount of traffic entering the area.

Keen cyclist Sally Taylor, 55, from Victoria Road, said: “I cycle everywhere except on Broomhall Road now because it’s just too dangerous. I use Ecclesall Road instead now because it’s wider and safer to cycle on.”

Residents said they have repeatedly tried to engage with Sheffield City Council but have got nowhere and now intend to take the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Marie Lowe, 68, of Park Lane, said: “To us this has just been a shocking waste of public money. They only consulted people on Broomhall Road but it has a real impact on the lives of people on neighbouring streets. Drivers are ignoring the one way signs and the junction of Park Lane and Broomhall Road is particularly dangerous for cyclists.”

Sheffield City Council has declined to comment on residents’ concerns.