Residents slam plans for new bike track at popular Sheffield park

Residents who live behind a popular Sheffield park are protesting against planned bike tracks.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 10:49 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 1:04 pm

Twenty-three people wrote to Sheffield Council to object to plans which include building pump tracks and a 'learn to ride' area in Hillsborough Park next to the current tennis courts.

They raised concerns about increasing anti-social behaviour and flood risk as well as harming wildlife and said the money could be better spent elsewhere.

Tonya Snailum, who lives Broughton Road just behind the park, was one of those who objected and started the petition against the plans.

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Hillsborough Park

She said: “We shouldn't be dismissed as NIMBYs (not in my backyard), we are a variety of ages and backgrounds and we all use the park.

"We do appreciate money needs to be spent on parks but it could be spent more wisely and in areas that don't have a detrimental affect on residents."

The plans were submitted as part of Access Sports' Making Trax programme which aims to develop a network of inclusive community cycling clubs around the country.

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Part of the plans include creating a volunteer-led club to provide coaching sessions with access to bikes, helmets and pads from two secure shipping containers.

Access Sport and the council said they were keen to consult with stake holders and the public about the proposals, doing workshops and a questionnaire which had 868 responses.

They said overall the results of these were ‘very positive’ and there was a ‘high level of enthusiasm’ for the proposals.

There have also been 45 written comments to the council in support of the plans.

But Tonya said herself and neighbours will be the most affected by the tracks and many did not know it was happening.

She said: "A lot of residents didn't actually know about it until we went round said 'do you realise the opportunity to comment on the proposals closes this Tuesday'.

"The people who are affected about it the most knew nothing about it. If you look at the dates of the comments objecting, most of them came after residents went knocking on doors."

She added that they are happy for the bike tracks to be built in the park but that out of the different options available, planners chose the site that would most affect locals.

"It's the only site of the that would have an impact on residents living next door to it.

"There are other areas that would be far more suitable and wouldn't have an impact on local residents."

In their plans, Access Sport said they chose that area because it was a 'more suitable location' and building on the other site near Parkside Road which they said would have "a significant impact on the character, heritage value and views within the park".

It also said they would ask Broughton Road residents for their views on this and look at ways to reduce its impact on the area.

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