Sheffield still keeping consultations hidden, under wraps, and suppressing responses – Adding pedestrian crossing phases to a crossroads

I’ve written before about consultations in Sheffield, how they’re not advertised, hidden away, and hard to respond to. This is another example. This time it’s about a new pedestrian crossing in Crookesmoor at the junction of Barber Road, Crookes Valley Road and Crookesmoor Road (map).

Consultation about a new crossing at Barber Road / Crookes Valley Road / Crookesmoor Road in Sheffield

Consultation about a new crossing at Barber Road / Crookes Valley Road / Crookesmoor Road in Sheffield

If you think pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes are a good thing, or a bad thing, then you can reply to the consultation, if you receive this letter.

If you search for it in the press, you won’t find anything.

If you search for it on the council’s website, you won’t find anything.

If you search for it on the council’s consultation portal, you won’t find anything.

You have to be on a special email list, or live on one of the houses near the junction to hear about this, then you’ll get a letter.

This was the very first thing I ever contacted Sheffield council about, 9 years ago, in 2008. I crossed this junction daily on foot, I was fed up with there only being traffic lights for cars and no pedestrian crossing phases. I would want to know about this consultation, I would want to reply to it in support, but the only way I know about it was because CycleSheffield are on one of those email lists and wrote about it on their Facebook page.

Why is everything so hard in Sheffield?

A traffic count on Tonbridge High Street, 13,600 vehicles per day

Tonbridge High Street 1st March 2017

I did a quick traffic count on Tonbridge High Street a few days ago.

It showed that at about 17:00, there are about 1,360 motor vehicles per hour using the road.

Using the rule of thumb, 10x hourly peak traffic = day traffic, that gives 13,600 motor vehicles a day using Tonbridge High Street.

Putting this into perspective for cycling,

  • London Cycle Design Standards give a critical failure to any street where total volume of motor traffic is > 1,000 vehicles/hour at peak and cyclists are not separated. Green is <200 vehicles per hour at peak.
  • The Welsh Active Travel Guidance gives a critical failure to any street where total volume of traffic is > 10,000 vehicles per day, and cyclists are not separated. Green, is 2,500 vehicles per day.
  • The UK LTN2/08 says that for > 10,000 vehicles per day, cycle lanes or tracks are required.

So, Tonbridge High Street is not a place where many people would find it comfortable to cycle.

(My data is available here – Tonbridge High Street Traffic Count 1st March 2017)

A masterclass from Sheffield City Council in suppressing consultation responses by making it difficult to respond

Sheffield Council are “consulting” on a major public realm redevelopment (Knowledge Gateway) in the City Centre, they’ve made it very difficult to respond by hiding the details of how to respond in a pdf, in a zip file, under the business section, of the local tourist information website.

This is how the council have advertised the ‘consultation’:

Official Sheffield Council consultation portal.

Sheffield Council: Published a press release about the scheme on official press release page.

  • No way of participating is provided other than attending an exhibition.
  • Doesn’t include any drawings or detail.
  • Doesn’t link to any drawings or detail.
  • Doesn’t list a consultation closing date.
  • Provided a link to the Sheffield City Region website with the exact same information.
  • Hold an exhibition in the city centre during working hours and for 2 Saturday mornings

There will be public and trader consultations over the next few weeks. Exhibitions featuring the proposals will be held at Sheffield Hallam’s Sheffield Institute of Arts (the former head post office) café from Monday 13 February to Saturday 18 February 2017 (9am – 6pm, weekdays; 9am to 4PM) and then at the Site Gallery cafe, Paternoster Row from Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 February 2017, (10am – 6pm weekdays; Saturday, 10am – 1pm.)

Sheffield City Region: Published a news item on their website.

  • Everything above applies, no further information! Straight copy paste.

Welcome to Sheffield (tourist information website)

  • Created a page under the ‘Developments in Sheffield’ page, under the ‘Business Sheffield’ section for the consultation.
  • Includes a link to a zip file labelled ‘Download The Knowledge Gateway Exhibition Materials’
  • Include 8 PDFs in the zip file, some of which are layout drawings, some of which are exhibition panels.
  • In the final pdf, include details on how to respond to the consultation including the closing date.
  • Include an email address and postal address for responses.
  • Don’t publish a comments form. Copies were only available at the city centre exhibition.

Hidden on a tourist information website, under the business section, within a zip file, in a pdf.

A masterclass in suppressing consultation responses by making it difficult to respond.

Sustainable Travel Access Fund for 2017 to 2020 – links to all bid documents

Access Fund for Sustainable Travel

Yesterday the government announced the winners of the £60m Sustainable Travel Access Fund for 2017 to 2020. The fund details are here along with the criteria and application form.

Thousands more people will be encouraged to cycle and walk to work thanks to a £64 million government investment, Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced today (26 January 2017).

The funding will support local projects over 3 years from 2017 to 2020 and form part of a wider government package of more than £300 million to boost walking and cycling during the current parliament.

There were 28 winning authorities. I’ve collated links to each of the bids. 25 were awarded funding from the Sustainable Travel Access Fund, and 3 were awarded funding from the Cycling and Walking to Work fund. Where I’ve not been able to find the bid, I’ve submitted Freedom of Information requests which are also linked.

A spreadsheet with this data is here. (incidentally, the data behind the DfT cycling funding map is available on this Google Fusion Table here).

Sustainable Travel Access Fund 2017-2020

Local Authority Scheme value (£m)
Blackpool Council – Consortium bid with Buckinghamshire CC, Hertfordshire CC, North East CA, Stoke on Trent CC, West Sussex CC, Hampshire CC, Leicester CC, North Lincolnshire Council and Surrey CC 7.498
Brighton and Hove Council 1.485
Bristol City Council (West of England) 6.901
Devon County Council 1.5
East Riding of Yorkshire Council 0.682
East Sussex County Council 1.2
Herefordshire County Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.5
Isle of Wight Council 1.35
Kent County Council 1.452
Lancashire County Council – Joint bid with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council 1.94
Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 3.195
Lincolnshire County Council 0.975
Luton Borough Council (joint bid with Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council) 2.128
Norfolk County Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.488
North East Lincolnshire Council 1.388
North Yorkshire County Council 0.974
Nottingham City Council – joint bid with Derby City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 2.735
Nottinghamshire County Council 0.845
Plymouth City Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.497
Sheffield City Region Combined Authority – Unable to find FOI Sent 7.5
Slough Borough Council – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.5
Southampton City Council (joint bid with Hampshire County Council) 2.294
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council joint bid with –Thurrock Council and Essex County CouncilUnable to find FOI Sent 3.322
Tees Valley Combined Authority 3.323
York, City of – Unable to find FOI Sent 1.312

Cycling & Walking to Work Fund

Local Authority Scheme value (£m)
Greater Manchester Combined Authority 1.5
Liverpool City Region – Unable to find FOI Sent 0.77
West Yorkshire Combined Authority 1.5

How often do people cycle in Tonbridge?

In this post I’m going to look at levels of cycling in Tonbridge.

I grew up in Tonbridge, moved to Sheffield when I was younger, and now I’m back in Tonbridge. Things in a small town of 40k people work a little differently to things in a city of half a million!

Getting to work (census 2011)

Of the approximately 17k people who travel to work each day (it’s that low, of the approx 40k people, 27k people are aged 16-74 and of those only about 20k are ‘economically active’).

Driving = 56% (9850 people), Car Passenger = 5%, Train = 20%, Walk = 14%, Bus = 2%,  Cycling = 2% (365 people).

Some of the people who get the train to work will cycle to the train station and that isn’t included above, likewise for people driving to the train station.

Across Tonbridge there isn’t much variation. There are no high pockets of people cycling to work.

Breaking it down by distance

For the 5,300 people (31%) who work within Tonbridge itself, the distribution of travel to work mode is:

Driving = 46% (2467 people), Car Passenger = 6%, Train = 1%, Walk = 36%, Bus = 3%,  Cycling = 5% (260 people).

And in Tonbridge, 1897 people work very close to where they live (the same MSOA), the distribution of travel to work mode is:

Driving = 31% (590 people), Car Passenger = 3%, Train = 2%, Walk = 59%, Bus = 1%,  Cycling = 4% (68 people).

To put this into perspective, Tonbridge is divided into 5 MSOA areas, most intra MSOA journeys will be less than 1km, but 31% of them are still driven and only 4% are cycled.

Modal Share All Journeys Journeys within Tonbridge Journeys in same MSOA
Driving 56% 46% 31%
Car Passenger 5% 6% 3%
Train 20% 1% 2%
Walk 14% 36% 59%
Bus 2% 3% 1%
Cycling 2% 5% 4%

Traffic Counts

There are 5 Department for Transport traffic count points on key routes around Tonbridge.

The Estimated Annual average daily flows data shows just 451 bikes counted in 2015.

3 have a modal share of about 0.5%, 1 at 1.2% and 1 at 0.09%.

Tonbridge DfT Traffic Count Data for 2015

How often do people cycle?

The Active People Survey has data on cycling participation for Tonbridge and Malling Borough (which is significantly bigger than just Tonbridge).

It shows that in Tonbridge and Malling, only 2.9% of people cycle at least once per week for utility journeys, rising to 4.8% at least once per month.

Utility Cycling Tonbridge and Malling Kent South East
At least once per month 2014/15 4.8% 3.8% 7.5%
At least once per week 2014/15 2.9% 2.4% 5.2%
At least three times per week 2014/15 2.1% 1.2% 2.8%
At least five times per week 2014/15 0.6% 0.6% 1.6%
All Cycling Tonbridge and Malling Kent South East
At least once per month 2014/15 15.1% 13.5% 16.8%
At least once per week 2014/15 8.3% 7.9% 10.6%
At least three times per week 2014/15 3.8% 3.0% 4.9%
At least five times per week 2014/15 2.6% 1.8% 2.8%

Travel to School

Kent’s 2016 bid for the ‘Access Fund for Sustainable Travel’ included journey to school modal share. The data is from surveys that school fill in. It shows a 3.1% cycling modal share, which has been fairly constant from 2013 to 2016, about 40% by car, and just under 50% by foot.

mode 2013 2014 2015 2016
82 surveys 173 surveys 160 surveys 99 surveys
other 1.3% 1.1% 1.5% 0.3%
car share 3.7% 4.4% 4.0% 3.5%
car (alone) 42.6% 41.9% 40.9% 35.1%
rail 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
public bus 1.2%
school bus 0.7%
bus (all types) 1.4% 2.4% 1.5%
cycle 3.2% 3.2% 3.3% 3.1%
scoot/skate 4.2%
park & walk 11.8%
walk 47.7% 46.9% 48.7% 39.9%

(source, page 4)

Next

In the next blog post, I’m going to take a look at the streets of Tonbridge and see how cycle friendly they are. With these cycling rates, the results probably won’t be surprising.

Sustainable Transport Money (£450,000) on Road Widening: Doncaster’s Herten Way 2 Way Scheme

The Sheffield City Region Sustainable Transport Exemplar Programme is funding car parks and cycle lanes where parking is allowed. Previously the Local Sustainable Transport Fund paid to widen a trunk road roundabout. The latest questionable scheme is in Doncaster and is widening a road to convert it from 1 way to 2 way with the aim of alleviating motor traffic congestion and encouraging new retail shops to be built.

The proposed scheme will convert Herten Way into a two way road which will help to alleviate traffic congestion issues with ASDA in particular but also make an existing piece of development land more attractive for investment as access will be greatly improved.

From the Scheme brief document

 

The schemes general arrangement drawing is available here.

The original design included an unsegregated shared use footway/cycleway, however even that was dropped from the design before the scheme was built. The shared use footway was the token sustainable transport part of this scheme, but even that minimal cycling facility was never built.

Following consultation with the Council’s cycling Transport Planners it has been decided that the length of footway along Herten Way will not be shared with cyclists at this time. Tactile provision will be amended accordingly. At such time as further development occurs in the area the cycling facilities will be reconsidered.

From the Road Safety Audit

A new toucan crossing was built, at a cost of probably no more than £100,000 (guestimated), but the signals were required to facilitate the new turning movement at the junction because traffic is now 2 way, the junction was previously unsignalled.

Questions must be asked about the governance of the Sheffield City Region Sustainable Transport Exemplar Programme given some of the schemes that it is funding. This scheme cost £450,000 in total. Funds like these should go to creating well designed cycle infrastructure, not shared use pavements, not road widening, and not converting 1 way roads to 2 way at an out of town retail park.

The road safety audit provides a good insight into how the scheme has been designed.

The raised plateaux is intended as an aid to pedestrians crossing the carriageway rather than a traffic calming feature such as a road hump. As such the approach and exit ramps will be installed with a shallow gradient <1:20. The ramp areas will also be treated with red coloured surfacing and a set of warning triangles which the Designers feels would be sufficient warning to approaching drivers and would highlight the presence of pedestrians.

This is the freedom of information request where this information is from.

What WE do makes a difference. Why Sheffield Council needs to be more air aware.

How do you effectively persuade people to choose a more sustainable mode of transportation?

Is it by telling them what do to? Or are their choices influenced by our streets, our public spaces and bigger structural issues?

When we live in a country designed around the car, are people really free to make their own choices?

For the past few months Sheffield Council has been running a campaign under the title ‘Air Aware, What You Do Makes a Difference’ (Twitter, Website).

We want to help make everyone in Sheffield more air aware so that you can make choices which help to protect you and your loved ones.

I think that what the council do makes a much bigger difference, the council needs to be more air aware so that their choices help protect the people of Sheffield.

Putting the emphasis on changing individual behaviours through a campaign like this is a distraction and a waste of time. This is why I’ve created a series of new images with the strap line ‘What we do makes a difference’, we being Sheffield Council.

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These are the original images.

Sheffield’s long overdue tram cycle safety report is yet another disappointment

The latest Sheffield Council report into the dangers caused to cyclists by the city’s tram lines has been a long time coming. Commissioned in July 2014, issued to the council in Sept 2015, and published in June 2016. After almost 2 years of work, the report should be impressive, but sadly it’s deeply disappointing and its severely lacking in a number of key areas outlined below. You can read the full report here.

Converting footways to ‘shared use’: lumping people cycling in with people walking to the frustration of all

Suggested road layout changes focus on converting existing footways to ‘shared use’, with a presumption that cycling space must come from existing (limited) pedestrian space. Reallocation of space away from motor traffic is not given a single thought, and the creation of dedicated cycle ways is noticeable in its absence.

where footway width and pedestrian activity precluded almost any physical changes to the road and footway layouts

“…where footway width and pedestrian activity precluded almost any physical changes to the road and footway layouts”

space limitation in the highway, narrow footways near the tramway and significant levels of pedestrian activity in various locations mean that opportunities that some other tramways (especially in Holland, USA and Canada) have been able to utilise are not readily available on most of the Supertram network.

“…space limitation in the highway, narrow footways near the tramway and significant levels of pedestrian activity in various locations mean that opportunities that some other tramways (especially in Holland, USA and Canada) have been able to utilise are not readily available on most of the Supertram network.”

Unfortunately many of the methods have been shown to be difficult to employ at sites in Sheffield and on other tramway systems, due to constraints such as existing minimal footway and carriageway width, and exensive pedestrian activity in footway areas.

Constraints do not include motor traffic, it never crossed their minds to change the space allocated to motor traffic.

None of the provisional layout changes create cycleways, they just lump cycling in with walking, on the footway. It is a cycling report inspired by LTN2/08, widely considered to be obsolete and far behind recognised best practice in designing for walking and cycling.

Fundamental misunderstanding of how Dutch tramways reduce danger…

There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of how Dutch tramways reduce danger,  referring to sustainably safe junction layouts as ‘road markings’. The examples from the report below are shown as ‘road markings’ even though they clearly show separated cycle tracks, which provide clear routes across junctions with embedded tram tracks. The layout of these junctions has been designed to be as safe as possible, it’s not the ‘road markings’ that mean that these are safe, and cherry picking and replicating ‘road markings’ alone will not create a safe solution.

From articles and web forums it would appear that many cyclists worldwide believe that track / cycle crossing problems in Europe (e.g. in Holland) have already been fully resolved. However, it is clear from the information that was obtained that, even with various measures and design arrangements being introduced to reduce these issues, some problems still exist on many European tramway systems. Cyclists and tram operators in these places generally seem to be aware of this and, even in Hollsan, there is advice provided to cyclists about how to cross the tracks safely.

…And the best Dutch examples are missing

It’s disappointing that a detailed review of the best high quality cycle infrastructure around tram lines was not included. This example is from Utrecht.

No review of what’s been tried before and why it failed

There is no discussion of Sheffield’s previous plan for dealing with the danger of tram lines, no review of previous programmes of work, no review of their effectiveness, and no discussion of why previous work failed to adequately address the danger. There is no mention of the hospital study conducted in 1994.

No funding, nor any plan to seek it

Funding is non existent, there is no funding plan to go with this report.

Discussion of potential funding sources completely ignores the Sheffield City Region Growth Deal and devolved transport funding, instead choosing to focus on DfT direct funding.

Funding 2

Current tram rail replacement: a missed opportunity?

The report fails to mention the approximately £5 million currently being spent on tram line replacement and fails to identify opportunities from that project to improve the safety of cycling around tram lines.

Funding 1

Funding 2

Funding 3

Failure to look at the bigger picture

This report contains numerous missed opportunities. One if its real shortcomings is its failure to view the tram system as part of the wider street and transport network. Only very immediate localised changes have been proposed (e.g to tram stops, or the roads which have rails themselves), which fail to identify opportunities such as the potential use of service roads alongside tramways as cycling infrastructure. This is something commonly seen in the Netherlands and other European countries.

Service roads like this should be designed to support cycling parallel to the tram lines as is normal in The Netherlands.

Service roads like this should be designed to support cycling parallel to the tram lines as is normal in The Netherlands.

We know the council can do better, we’ve seen better designs in the past. The report doesn’t include the visionary design of the crossing of Upper Hanover Street tram lines, perhaps the best piece of cycle infrastructure design to have ever come from Sheffield Council. It’s not even mentioned in the report. (I’m sorry, I don’t have an image for this and I don’t think it’s been published and I think the design was later watered down citing concerns over motor traffic gridlock).

Desperate scrabbling for a ‘behaviour change’ solution

I’ve not even mentioned the suggestion of building a tram line cyclist training facility…

Additionally, it could be considered whether it might be possible to install a trial facility with tram rails away from live tramway somewhere in Sheffield and provide training sessions for cyclists as to how best to cross the tram tracks.

'Cyclists could also usefully become more aware of traction circle issues'

‘Cyclists could also usefully become more aware of traction circle issues’

Shifting the blame for under-reporting of incidents

The report states that ‘adequate data for cycle incidents in relation to crossing tram tracks in Sheffield is almost non-existent’. This is true, but it sets the blame squarely on the shoulders of cyclists, saying ‘these single person accidents tend not to be reported to the Police’ and ‘the only accident data available is when cyclists report incidents to SCC, SYPTE or Supertram… under-reporting of these types of incidents could be significant’.

Stats19

SYPTE reporting

This is a misrepresentation the situation. Research by CycleSheffield has found that when cyclists report these crashes to the police, they often refuse to accept the report. The Sheffield Council cycle forum has even sent a letter to South Yorkshire Police expressing concern at their failings to record these crashes. Another route is to report incidents to the Council or Supertram but people are often fobbed off just the same (as documented by CycleSheffield).

“I tried to report it to the police via 101 and they insisted that it was not reportable.”

“Supertram, they were not in the slightest interested and told me I should have gotten off my bike and walked across the junction.”

The blame for a lack of data lies squarely with our local authorities.

If you’ve crashed on the tram lines then report it at tramcrash.co.uk which is run by CycleSheffield. They collect the information and anonymously share it with whoever needs it (including Sheffield City Council). They have created an up to date map of all reported crashes.

Conclusion

So, to sum up, very very disappointing. I hope that CycleSheffield are able to put pressure on Sheffield City Council to improve this report. As a proven major cause of injury and distress, cycle crashes on Sheffield’s tram tracks should be taken seriously. Sheffield City Council says it wants to increase the number of journeys made by bike in the city, now we need some action to prove it.

Update (June 2016)

And they have, the report has been pulled from the council meeting agenda pending further discussion.

South Yorkshire’s Sustainable Transport Exemplar Programme – Update November 2015

As part of the Sheffield City Region Growth Deal, announced in 2014, a £16.3m investment allocation was made towards a Sustainable Transport Exemplar Programme (STEP). Let’s look at how that’s going. This information is from item 13 of this meeting.

STEP Funding Profiles

STEP Funding Profiles

The full list of projects is available here. The ones in Sheffield are in the table below. As of 30/09/2015 no money had been claimed.

2015/16 Funding as 02/03/2015
2015/16 Funding as 23/11/2015
Claimed (30/09/2015)
Comment
SS01
Greenhill Parkway / Greenhill Avenue
£350,000
£0
£0
Project cancelled – ‘intentionally delayed, and its 2015/16 funding allocation reallocated, whilst SCC officers consider an alternate funding regime’
SS02
Grey to Green Phase 1 – Sheffield Riverside Business District
£250,000
£225,000
£0 CycleSheffield have campaigned to improve this scheme because of problems with cycling provision.
SS03
Lower Don Valley Cycle Route
£265,000 £185,000 £0
“Lower Don Valley Cycle Routes – Weedon Street Link” – I’m not sure what this is.
SS04
Upper Don Valley Cycle Route
£200,000 £375,000 £0 I’m not sure exactly what part of the route this is, but it goes from Oughtibridge to Stocksbridge, it has been called the Little Don Link before.
SS05
Tinsley – Victoria Cycle Route – Canal Towpath
£50,000 £0 £0 This project isn’t included in STEP anymore, I’m not sure if it’s been cancelled.
SS06
Sheffield City Centre Cycle Routes
£0
£50,000
£0 Design and preparation works only in 2015/16
SS07
Blackburn Valley Cycle Route
£0
£50,000
£0 Design and preparation works only in 2015/16
PS04
Chesterfield Road – Heeley Bottom
£0
£760,000
£0 CycleSheffield have strongly criticised this scheme. It includes permitting parking in 1.5m painted cycle lanes.
Total
£1,645,000
£0

So… lets me honest here, the STEP is definitely not a step up in provision, it’s more of the same, and as far as I can tell, there’s zero road space allocation towards cycling.

And the Meadowhall Car Park extension which had £670,000 allocated to it for this year? That’s been pushed out, £1.45million next year, and £1.25million the following year, £2.7million, 16% of the entire STEP budget, on a car park.

My previous blog post on this subject is here.

Sheffield’s Annual Traffic Count – A look at the data

Each year Sheffield does a traffic count in September and October. It includes both a cordon count and an occupancy survey for some roads and also some off road cycle routes. A map of the count locations is here and here). This document describes how it works. The data collected is aggregated into 15 minute chunks. The data has been collected since 2001, I do not know what was collected before then.

Summaries of the data can be obtained from Sheffield Council by writing to them (I think it should be published on their website, but until that happens I’ll publish what I have here).

Looking at the count locations. They have very good coverage of people traveling into and out of the city centre, there’s much less information about areas further out.

Modal split for 2014 looks like this, for both vehicles and people (taking into account occupancy data).

2014 Total Person Trips / Mode Proportion Person Trips / Mode Vehicles / Mode Proportion Vehicle Trips / Mode
Car / Taxi 521,782 56.02% 414,878 71.00%
Bus / Coach 159,507 17.12% 14,948 2.56%
Walk 69,049 7.41% 69,049 11.82%
Light Goods Vehicle 65,077 6.99% 55,056 9.42%
Tram 49,889 5.36% 1,283 0.22%
Rail 37,094 3.98% 180 0.03%
Medium Goods Vehicle 10,898 1.17% 10,898 1.86%
Heavy Goods Vehicle 7,258 0.78% 7,258 1.24%
Pedal Cycle 7,160 0.77% 7,160 1.23%
Motor Cycle 3,774 0.41% 3,658 0.63%
931,488 100.0% 584,368 100.0%

Of course, cars dominate, with 56% of all journeys being made by car. Public transport is next at 26% (bus=17%, tram=5% and train=4%). Walking has 7.4% of journeys, and cycling at 0.77% of journeys.

Because the data above have both occupancy data and vehicle count data, it’s interesting to look at how hugely efficient public transport is. Buses make up just 2.6% of the traffic, but carry 17.1% of journeys, trams make up just 0.2% of the traffic, but carry 5.36% of journeys, and trains, just 0.03% of vehicles (180 of them) but carry 3.98% of journeys.

Looking at motor traffic (cars/taxis), they make up 71% of the vehicles, but just 56% of journeys were made by car, very inefficient.

Car/taxi occupancy has been slowly declining over the past decade, but there has been a more substantial drop from 2012 to 2013. Car/taxi occupancy in 2014 was just 1.25 people per car/taxi.

Car/Taxi Occupancy Rates in Sheffield

Car/Taxi Occupancy Rates in Sheffield

The number of person trips being counted each year has been steadily declining. A drop of 10.3% from 2001 to 2014, from 1,038,366 to 931,488 in 2014.

Total Person Trips in Sheffield 2001 to 2014

Total Person Trips in Sheffield 2001 to 2014

The modal share has been changing too. For cars/taxis the number of person trips has been declining (blue), but the modal share (red) has remained reasonably steady (albeit with a drop to 52% in 2008.

Car Taxi Person Trips Modal Share and Total in Sheffield

Car Taxi Person Trips Modal Share and Total in Sheffield

For public transport (rail, tram and bus), the number of trips was fairly steady until 2008, and then has declined consistently since. From about 31% modal share to 26.5%.

Public Transport Person Trips in Sheffield 2001 to 2014

Public Transport Person Trips in Sheffield 2001 to 2014

Splitting this down into each of the three modes makes clear what’s going on.

Tram modal share has been fairly steady, but down in the past couple of years (the reason could be significant tram track maintenance).

Rail has seen a significant increase both in modal share and absolute numbers of trips, from 1.8% to 4.0%, and 18,823 to 37,094 from 2001 to 2014 respectively.

But buses have seen a significant drop. From 22.8% in 2001 to 17.1% in 2014, the absolute number is revealing, 236,909 trips to 159,507 trips from 2001 to 2011. A drop of 32.7%, there are now a third fewer journeys made by bus, in just 13 years.

If total trip numbers start to increase (post recession), unless this downward trend in bus patronage is reversed then we’ll see a huge growth in private car traffic on our streets and that will be very problematic.

Public Transport Person Trips, split by mode, in Sheffield 2001 to 2014

Public Transport Person Trips, split by mode, in Sheffield 2001 to 2014

Onto cycling. In 2014, 1.21% of vehicles, and 0.77% of person trips counted we cycles, just 7,160 in total. Cycling is second to bottom in modal share, only motorcycles have fewer journeys.

Since 2001, levels have increased from 3,250 to 7,160, 0.34% modal share to 0.77% modal share.

Cycling in Sheffield - Modal share from 2001 to 2014

Cycling in Sheffield – Modal share from 2001 to 2014

Ecclesall Road South

Further to this summary published data, the council hold detailed 15 minute data for each site. I’ve tried to request it’s release in the past via FOI, but I’ve been unsuccessful, apart from receiving one sites data for one year. Ecclesall Road South, 2012.

Across the whole day, for Ecclesall Road South, the number of people traveling along this road has fallen from 36,686 to 33,318. The number of vehicles has broadly remained constant.

Ecclesall Road South - Total Trips and Vehicles

Ecclesall Road South – Total Trips and Vehicles

Cycling levels have increased from 142 per day in 2001 to 223 per day in 2012 (0.67% modal share). Cars down from 27,072 person trips to 24,653. The number of single occupancy cars has increased from 79.95% to 83.34%. People walking, up from 762 to 844. Public transport (bus only) person trips down from 6174 people to 4968, but an increase in bus vehicles from 621 to 773. The data is below.

Ecclesall Road South - Bicycle Modal Share

Ecclesall Road South – Bicycle Modal Share

Ecclesall Road South Detailed Data

Ecclesall Road South Detailed Data

We also have detailed data for one day in 2012, broken down by direction. There were between 200 and 400 vehicles per 15 minutes across the whole day in each direction.

Ecclesall Road South - Vehicles Across Day - 2012

Ecclesall Road South – Vehicles Across Day – 2012

And for just bicycles, there were just 223 across the whole day, 131 inbound and 92 outbound. At a maximum rate of 23 between 08:15 to 08:30 (a modal share of about 3.7% in that 15 minute period). The modal share for the majority of the day is under 0.5%.

Ecclesall Road South - Bicycles Across Day - 2012

Ecclesall Road South – Bicycles Across Day – 2012

We can also break down the number of cars by occupancy. 1 occupant = 83.3%, 2 occupant = 14.8%, 3 occupant = 1.6%, 4 occupant = 0.03% (just 60 out of 20,742 cars).

That’s it, a whistle stop tour of traffic count data available in Sheffield. 2015 counts were done very recently (although I understand that they were late). I’ll do another post when I get a copy of the data.