Serious crash at Sheffield junction came three years after 'fundamentally unsafe' warning from cyclists

Emergency services at the scene of the crash on Savile Street, in which a cyclist was seriously injured
Emergency services at the scene of the crash on Savile Street, in which a cyclist was seriously injured
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A busy junction in Sheffield where a cyclist was seriously injured this week had been branded 'fundamentally unsafe' three years ago by a cycling campaign group.

The cyclist was taken to hospital after being involved in a collision with a lorry on Savile Street at Spital Hill, close to the city centre, yesterday at about 4.40pm.

CycleSheffield revealed following the tragic incident how it had called for safety improvements in September 2015 as part of planned changes at the location, but claimed its comments had fallen on deaf ears.

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Matt Turner, from the campaign group, shared the group's response to the council's plans from that time, adding: "I remember when we wrote this, and I remember the council dismissing it."

The response, dated September 30, 2015, stated: "Commenting on the specifics of this design, which leaves the road fundamentally unsafe for cyclists, might be seen to condone it, so we will refrain.

"The minor changes represent no significant improvement for cyclists (existing or potential)."

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The group's submission went on to describe Spital Hill as the 'natural major cycle route' linking Burngreave and Pitsmoor to the city centre, with no convenient alternative.

It claimed there was ample space for a protected cycle lane yet cyclists instead had to compete for space at rush hour with buses and taxis, and it said the 'confusing' proposed lane layouts put cyclists at 'grave risk'.

"It is disappointing that Sheffield Council has not taken the opportunity to utilise this space to allow people in Sheffield to cycle safely and confidently in this area," it concluded.

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Dexter Johnstone, of CycleSheffield, claimed the council's own cycle audit had described part of the design for the project as 'clearly potentially dangerous and discouraging for cyclists'.

Richard Skelton, senior transport planner at Sheffield Council, said: "We were very concerned to hear about the incident yesterday and hope the cyclist recovers well. We are still waiting for the full details and will await any comments from the police about this incident.”