Sheffield tram tracks are ‘biggest cycling danger’

West Street. Picture: Andrew Roe
West Street. Picture: Andrew Roe
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More than 120 bike accidents have been recorded on Sheffield’s tram tracks this year, a cycle group has found.

Campaign organisation Cycle Sheffield asked riders to send in details of any accidents they had on tram tracks from January, after saying there was a lack of data about such incidents.

And, in the six months since the website was set up, more than 120 accidents have been recorded – 20 per cent of which involved broken bones and others which caused serious injuries.

Dexter Johnstone, from the group, said: “It’s important the police record these incidents because road accident data is used by councils to work out which roads need safety improvements.

“Some parts of the tram route are cycle accident black spots, but this isn’t reflected in police data.”

Cycle Sheffield said cyclists coming off their bikes on tram lines is ‘one of the biggest dangers faced by cyclists in Sheffield’.

Members hope that, by keeping accurate records of accidents, they may be able to identify hotspots and call for further safety improvements to be made by Sheffield C ouncil.

Matt Turner, Cycle Sheffield chairman, said: “Everyone in Sheffield seems to know someone who’s crashed while riding on a road with tramlines.

“It’s not a matter of just being careful and it doesn’t seem to matter how experienced you are, it can happen to anyone.

“We need to install good cycle facilities along tram routes to keep people safe when cycling around Sheffield.”

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive said Supertram was an ‘asset’ to the city and made roads safer by reducing traffic.

David Young, SYPTE interim director general, said: “With the system covering 
29 kilometres and 50 per cent of the network running on street it’s unavoidable some cycle routes share roads with the Supertram.”

He urged cyclists to take ‘extra care’ when travelling alongside tracks.

He said: “We work closely with local authorities to improve cycling conditions across South Yorkshire via cycle paths, crossings and cycle hubs, and to provide free cycle training through the CycleBoost scheme.”