Hundreds of cyclists will demand action to make bike riding safer from candidates standing in Sheffield’s local elections.
They are backing the Space for Cycling drive which aims to create better walking and cycling routes for schoolchildren and students as well as protected space on main streets or through major junctions.
Safe cycling routes through the city centre and other centres such as Darnall, Broomhill and Hillsborough, and the removal of cars from residential streets, are also among their demands.
Mick Nott, chairman of organising group Cycle Sheffield, said: “The idea is to put cycling on the political agenda.
“The demand that really resonates with people is about safe cycling for schoolchildren. Every child in Sheffield should be able to cycle to school but their parents don’t think it is safe.”
All election candidates are invited to a special ride from Barkers Pool- with people urged to wear red and decorate their bikes – on the final Saturday before the election, which is May 17.
Organisers say candidates’ decisions will influence how they vote .
Mick added: “If candidates do sign up and then get elected then we will also be able to ask them what they do to improve cycling.”
Council’s Tour spending ‘will not change ‘
Sheffield Council has dismissed ‘speculation’ that the £900,000 it will spend bringing the Tour de France to the city is to go up.
It was announced last year the authority was to use almost £1m from reserves to contribute towards the Tour – including a £200,000 staging fee and £215,000 to be spent on marketing.
A spokesman said there had been ‘some speculation’ raised about rising costs following the news that the cost of marshalling and managing the Tour had been underestimated by more than £2m.
He added: “The council approved a limit of £900,000 last October as our contribution towards the event being held in Yorkshire and it is intended to keep to this budget.
The event is expected to attract at least 250,000 people to Sheffield alone in addition to the billions of television viewers worldwide to watch one of the world’s greatest sporting events.
“We believe this to be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity for Sheffield and we will be aiming to capitalise on the profile this event will give the city as well as the cycling legacy we can build on for the future.”
When funding for the race was revealed, it was criticised by some following the closure of Don Valley Stadium.
The council has said it will bring up to £10m of direct economic benefit and £5m of marketing value to the city.
Work to resurface roads on the Sheffield Tour route – which stretches from Midhopestones to the finish outside Sheffield Motorpoint Arena – has now begun as part of the Streets Ahead project.
Hotels across the city have also reported a rise in bookings.
The Sheffield Metropolitan Hotel on Blonk Street, between Victoria Quays and The Wicker, is already 90 per cent full.
Staff are also working to provide cycle storage, map printing services for the route and weather reports for guests staying there during the race.
Movable clock counts down to race arriving in Sheffield
There’s less than 60 days to go...
A special clock counting down the days, minutes and seconds until the Tour de France comes to Sheffield in July is now on display.
The clock sits on a bicycle base and can be moved between locations around the city centre.
Residents young and old helped to decorate the clock - designed and built by ChopShop digital design and fabrication at Shalesmoor - with painted cogs, sprocketts and wheels during a public workshop.
Ivan Rabodzeenko, the director of ChopShop, said: “The clock is a celebration of Sheffield’s people as well as the team spirit which is central to activities such as the Tour de France itself.
“It has had a great reaction, people have been taking pictures of it and we had more than 80 people come along to the workshop to help decorate it.”
The clock was installed in the Millennium Galleries for the World Snooker Championships and will now move to the Winter Gardens for the rest of its time on display.
Ivan added: “After the Tour maybe we will use it to count down to something else.”
Send us your cycling snaps to share before spectacular
Readers are being urged to share their life on two wheels with The Star before Sheffield hosts the world’s biggest cycling event.
Our interactive On Yer Bike! campaign encourages people to send in pictures of them getting out and about – whether its a family day in the Peak District or cycling to the city centre as they commute to work.
Charity rides, fancy dress and fitness challenges will also be featured in the paper as people start to embrace the spirit of Le Tour – which is set to bring thousands of people from across the world to the region and turn the city yellow.
James Mitchinson, the editor of The Star, said: “The anticipation is building for the arrival of Le Tour in Sheffield this summer and, as a result, we’re seeing more and more people out on two wheels.
“Sheffield is blessed with some of the country’s best cycling roads and people across the county are embracing all that the world-famous Tour has to offer, so what better time to get on your bike, take some cycling snaps and share in the excitement with us?”
Send your pictures, with a short note telling us your name, age, where you are from and where your On Yer Bike! snap was taken.
* Email your photos to our Tour de France reporter Ellen Beardmore at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @SheffieldStar using the #onyerbike hashtag or by posting on The Star’s Facebook page.