Sheffield councillors concerned about speed of new transport scheme

Councillors are concerned a quick deadline to install a major new cycle route in Sheffield could be a case of more haste, less speed.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 5th August 2021, 9:37 am

Sheffield Council is consulting on plans for a new cycle route from the city centre out to Woodseats.

It has £3.4m of Government funding but a tight deadline of March 2022 to have the new structure in place.

Liberal Democrat councillors have welcomed the plans but are concerned there is not enough time to develop the route carefully.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Councillors Richard Shaw, Simon Clement-Jones and Barbara Masters

Keen cyclist, Coun Richard Shaw said: “In Sheffield we are all too aware that cycle routes imposed in a hurry and without consultation tend not to work as intended. Shalesmoor is a case in point.

“This time route planners are consulting but they have a difficult brief. They need to make use of existing routes as much as possible, ensure they are cycle friendly to encourage more of us who are able to get out of our cars, ensure businesses can continue to have access to their premises and ensure routes for motorists do not increase their journey times and lengths.

“All this in a matter of months and that limits the choices which ideally could be available. Small tweaks on the route can make a significant difference to its useability and it’s better to try to get changes incorporated now than put up with problems afterwards.

“Sheffield only gets money for this once so let’s get it spent right.”

Coun Shaw walked the route with his colleagues Coun Barbara Masters and Coun Simon Clement-Jones.

Coun Clement-Jones added: “The pandemic has caused a notable shift in public attitudes – we need to take action to improve air quality and make roads safer for all road users.

“It’s how we achieve that which is the issue. Having a reliable, frequent and affordable public transport system is key to this but developing one has suffered a huge setback due to Covid and we won’t see significant improvements there for some time.

“We have submitted our comments and urge others to do the same.”

The consultation closes on Friday, August 13 and is available here