Sheffield cyclists are treated second best

Mike Dodgson

Friday, 1st February 2019, 4:39 am
Updated Friday, 1st February 2019, 5:08 am
The Five Arches, Herries Road, 8.30am, January 22 2019

Marchwood, S6

I have come to the sad conclusion that Sheffield cyclists are treated second best.

From my daily observations from Malin Bridge to Herries Road, one can only admire the courage and determination of cyclists of all ages to get to and from work.

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Less than 30 years ago, around 6am I was often the only cyclist sharing the road(s) with 10 times fewer vehicles.

When cycling from Stannington to Brightside I mostly went the Wicker way taking less than 30 minutes.

Nowadays, there are up to 10 times more cyclists among a constant stream of vehicles which today are much wider and larger, causing many cyclists to use the pavements or be late for work or worse.

We should all accept that some of our main highways would still serve horses and carts better.

As it is, only improvements at Beechwood Road on Holme Lane have so far been forthcoming from The Star’s ideas and suggestions and a council questionnaire.

Some Penistone Road improvements have provided cyclists with a choice, especially for those travelling towards inner Sheffield, allowing cyclists to avoid nose-to-tail traffic.

One of Sheffield’s outstanding elderly cyclists, Sandy Savory, who still cycles up to 10,000 miles per year, regularly cycles from his home off Wordsworth avenue to Rivelin and beyond. I believe that, like me, Sandy does not always use the cheap, uncomfortable substitute for a cycle lane which is poorly maintained.

Our city planners have done excellent work at Bradfield Road roundabout, the Owlerton traffic lights and the road layout at the Herries Road traffic lights. But, if on a bike you manage to safely leave Penistone Road to join Herries Road, there is no help right up under the five arches and beyond to a very short cycle lane just before Wordsworth Avenue.

This mini (short) cycle lane is a clear example supporting my reasoning that cyclists, many of whom pay road taxes like me, do not have the same support motorists have.

The situation at the five arches is very bad in darkness. Cyclists regularly approach and navigate the central arch with traffic approaching them and all sizes of vehicles wanting to overtake, creating many serious and anxious moments.

Surely this safety issue could be solved with relatively little expenditure.

A bypass to the left-hand side of the bridge column joining an extended cycle lane where it will have good rear protection from the column should at least be urgently considered with proper considerations and safeguards for pedestrians.