Plans revealed for extensive new cycle route planned for Sheffield city centre out to suburbs
A major new cycle route will link Sheffield city centre with one of the busiest neighbourhoods in the city.
The Sheaf Valley route will extend from Pond Hill to the bottom of Woodseats Road and is part of a long term approach to help more people bike and walk.
The council has £3.4m of Government funding but a tight deadline of March 2022 to have the new structure in place.
The council says some people perceive cycling to be unsafe and it’s no longer enough to just paint white cycle lane road markings.
Matthew Reynolds of Sheffield Council said: “There’s been a significant shift in government doctrine around how you provide transport infrastructure, it’s now around sustainability, active travel and public transport.
“That’s the remit which investment needs to be focused on and it has to be much better segregated infrastructure
“Shifting away from the car dominated approach will help achieve climate change ambitions, improve air quality and there’s also a big economic dimension as well
“Active travel and public transport helps people travel to education, training or work in an affordable way and is key to how we sustain our economic ambition.
“We’ve noticed from the pandemic that improving public health is very much on people’s agenda so active travel can be a great way for people to have better mental wellbeing, as well as physical exercise.”
There will be some loss of parking spaces and changes to road layouts but the major difference will be closing off Little London Road at the railway bridge.
Motorists will still be able to access venues on Little London Road but via alternative routes.
Mr Reynolds said: “This is one of Sheffield’s biggest rat runs. There is a lot of traffic which avoids Chesterfield Road and Abbeydale Road and it finds its way onto Little London Road in both directions.
“This is an area where we routinely get complaints from people not being able to get through. There is no pavement under the bridge, it’s very narrow, it’s clearly not designed for modern use and is incredibly restricted.
“It’s one of the areas where we get lots of feedback from cyclists saying London Road is a good route but we’re constantly squeezed out, mainly under the bridge, but also through the parking on Little London Road.”
Mr Reynolds added: “Tiny interventions can open up roads to cyclists and make a huge difference.
“One minor change can be a magnet and can draw a lot of people who currently aren’t cycling and suddenly feel they can.
“This is phase one so it stops here, this is where the money runs out, but we’ve got a very strong strategic and economic case as to why we should do the bigger interventions further down the road.
“It’s baby steps in the first instance but the big prize is when this starts to work well and starts to fit into place.”
Consultation on the Sheaf Valley cycle route is available at connectingsheffield.commonplace.is