Monthly Archives: May 2013

Rotherham Pool Green Roundabout Redesign – Cycle lanes

Just a quick post, Rotherham Council has just been awarded £3.4million from the Pinch Points Fund to convert Pool Green Roundabout into a signalised crossing.

The road is a standard crossroads, it has 6 lanes in the north south direction and 3 lanes in the east west direction. Cycle facilities consist of in carriageway lanes and advance stop lines.

Is this really the best we can do for cycling?

(I’ve highlighted the on carriageway lanes in red below, the original is here)

With Cycle Lanes 2

The cycle lane design reminds me of another road in Sheffield, the new Inner Ring Road which seems to encourage drivers to cut up people in the cycle path to access the slip road.

Ring Road Cycle Lane

Surely within carriageway cycle lanes like these can’t be recommended in high traffic urban dual carriageways? Can they?

I much prefer this design from The Netherlands (borrowed from A View From The Cycle Path) which provides separation (I have flipped the photograph).

dutch-style-junction

Abuse on the road – an open letter from a young woman

An open letter from my girlfriend.

To the two fully grown men who thought it was OK to shout abuse at a young woman….

I am so sorry to have delayed your obviously urgent journey by 30 precious seconds by choosing to ride into town on my bike on a brilliantly sunny bank holiday. You don’t want me to be on the road? That’s fine, well neither do I. The reason I was waiting at the lights with you is that is the only way to get onto the cycle path, where I would much rather be! There is no other place I could have been – what did you expect me to do?!

That aside, I hope you feel proud of yourselves. I’m sure you wouldn’t go up to a young woman in a bar, or in a shop, or even in the street and start shouting at her. But for some reason, safe behind the wheel of your car speeding past, you suddenly feel it’s acceptable to bully someone who has no way of answering back.

Shame on you.

P1010218 (Medium)

 

#NotDriving – Sheffield’s latest promotion for sustainable travel

Not-Driving_Logo_Green_500There is a new sustainable travel campaign in Sheffield. #NotDriving. The aim is to raise awareness and encourage wider use of sustainable travel whether that’s public transport, walking, cycling or even smarter driving. In essence, it’s all about inspiring people to travel in Sheffield in a healthier way.

So, how is this accomplished? We give away prizes in return for you ditching your car on journeys to
work, nights out or anywhere for that matter. Pledge the number of miles you would have driven right here on our site for a chance to be entered into the monthly prize draws.

This scheme is running for 3 years and has a budget of £30,000 for it’s lifetime. Would this money be better spent elsewhere? Is this the sort of project envisiged at the inception of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund?

The establishment of the LSTF reflects the importance the Government attach to helping build locally a strong economy and addressing at a local level the urgent challenge of climate change and the commitment made in the coalition agreement to promoting sustainable travel initiatives.

Norman Baker,  Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Regional and Local Transport) – 13th December 2010

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A letter to my local councillor

Dear Bob Johnson,

I’m writing to you because I’m concerned about the lack of progress I see in encouraging people to use bicycles to travel in Sheffield.

At yesterday’s Council Cycle Forum we heard from Dick Skelton, a highways planning officer, that all the council’s cycling schemes had been used up with the Local Sustainable Transport Bid. It was explained that the council are working on a Green Routes project and that this will provide more schemes to begin work on but these won’t be designed fully until next year (let alone built). The LSTF schemes in progress do not include any projects to improve the roads in Sheffield for cycling, they only include off road paths, river routes and railway line conversions.

I find it staggering that there seems to be this lack of ambition to encourage people to use bicycles. We need our major roads in Sheffield to be made safer and more inviting to those who choose to cycle, and so that others are encouraged to cycle.

My understanding of the Green Routes project is that it aims to open up the city’s green spaces and parks for walking and cycling. I think that this is skirting around the problem, there is no problem cycling in the park, people enjoy it and it feels safe. However to get to the park, or green spaces I need to use roads, the majority of main roads in Sheffield do not have facilities for bicycle traffic. In addition, my workplace isn’t in a park, neither is my local school or the shops I visit, all the amenities of Sheffield are on roads, not in parks or green spaces!

I’m not aware of a single scheme aiming to improve or encourage bicycle travel on the roads in Sheffield.

I’m writing this email to you in the hope that you’ll ask Sheffield Council on my behalf what they are doing to improve conditions on our roads in Sheffield to support and encourage cycling.

Yours sincerely,

Matt Turner

Sheffield A61 Junction Redesign – Provision for bicycles to be considered last

P1050814.resizedDuring the past week Sheffield City Council have approved outline designs for the Leppings Lane junction on the A61 in Hillsborough, Sheffield to reduce congestion due to extra traffic using a new Sainsburys supermarket. The design was due to be fully approved however issues raised by CycleSheffield meant that the Cabinet Member making the decision was not happy with the provision for bicycle traffic.

http://meetings.sheffield.gov.uk/council-meetings/highway-cabinet-member-decision-sessions/agendas-2013/agenda-9-may-2013

The design was however approved “in principle” and the council have offered “a future meeting to look into the cyclists’ concerns”.

I’m pleased that our concerns resonated with the decision makers however I’m concerned with the attitude that an adequate solution can be found at the very end of the design process after the main highway design is complete and approved.

Outline Highway Drawings

Outline Highway Drawings

Continue reading

South Yorkshire Police – A new low in keeping pedestrians safe

Hi Vis Hedgehog

It is already on record that South Yorkshire Police do not consider road safety to be a priority. The recently elected South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright said so at one of the very first meetings he attended.

Whilst the remit of road safety fell under the remit of the Police and Crime Commissioner, unless there was a particular road safety issue, traffic policing would not be high on the list of priorities as some other issues.

Source: Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commisioner, Police and Crime Panel Minutes 23rd November 2012

Last week in Sheffield on my doorstep an 82 year old lady was run down by a hit and run driver in a 20mph zone which is used as a through route by design. From the description it seems clear that the driver failed to give way when turning into a side road as the lady crossed the junction.

An 82-year-old woman from Burncross, Sheffield, was crossing Taplin Road close to the junction of Middlewood Road. It is believed that a silver/grey car travelling along Taplin Road towards Hillsborough Place, collided with the elderly woman, and failed to stop at the scene.

Source: South Yorkshire Police appeal

And an 8 year old girl is hit by a drunk driver on a Sheffield City Centre street.

AN eight-year-old child was rushed to hospital after being struck by a car in a Sheffield street. “The driver of the vehicle involved has been arrested on suspicion of being over the drink drive limit.”

Source: The Star 02/05/2013

And on the very same day we see local statistics released for the second UN Global Road Safety Week. As reported in The Sheffield Star newspaper:

Twelve pedestrians are killed or injured on South Yorkshire’s roads every week, according to new police figures revealed today.

Source: Sheffield Star 02/05/2013

What do the police have to say in response to this when approached for a comment?

PC Mick Hedges from South Yorkshire Police, said: “I have lost count of the number of incidents I have attended where pedestrians have been unnecessarily killed or injured.
“It takes very little effort to follow these four simple steps – stop, look, listen and think. Parents can also play their part and teach their children by example.
..
Officers from the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership will … provide training in schools and urge youngsters to wear bright, reflective clothing.

Source: Sheffield Star 02/05/2013

Is anyone else concerned by this attitude or is it just me? I would much rather the police in Sheffield and South Yorkshire stopped with the victim blaming and focused on the true causes of these casualties as identified by the World Health Organisation.

web_button_white_200pxEach year, more than 270 000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads. Many leave their homes as they would on any given day never to return. Globally, pedestrians constitute 22% of all road traffic fatalities.

The key risks to pedestrians are well documented, and they include issues related to a broad range of factors: driver behaviour particularly in terms of speeding and drinking and driving; infrastructure in terms of a lack of dedicated facilities for pedestrians such as sidewalks, raised crosswalks and medians; and vehicle design in terms of solid vehicle fronts which are not forgiving to pedestrians should they be struck.

Source: The World Health Organisation, Pedestrian Road Safety Manual