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

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