Category Archives: budgets

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.

South Yorkshire Sustainable Transport Exemplar Programme – The biggest project in 2015/16 is a car park extension!

logo-960You just couldn’t make it up. Does car parking really count as sustainable transport?

The Sheffield City Region Growth Deal includes a ‘Sustainable Transport Exemplar Programme’ with £16.3m investment for five years from 2015/16 to 2021, with £3.3million in the first year.

The list of schemes funded in the first year has been announced and include things like bike paths and pedestrian crossings.

The largest scheme though, at £670,000, is a “Meadowhall Car Park Extension”. You read that right, a car park extension. 19% of the annual sustainable transport exemplar programme budget this year is being spent on a car park extension.

2015-16 Sustrainable Transport Exemplar Programme Schemes

2015-16 Sustrainable Transport Exemplar Programme Schemes

This money could pay for significant amounts of bike paths, cycle parking, reducing through traffic, 20mph zones etc. etc. etc. This year the Sheffield budget for 20mph zones is £400,000, the budget for this car park extension is £670,000.

I’m appalled. Follow the money, and it’s clear what the true priorities are for transport spending.

Schemes announced at Monday 16th March meeting of Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee.

Does Sheffield Council have what it takes to create Space for Cycling?

Space for cycling logo and 6 demands5th December Update: This motion was amended by Leigh Bramall, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development and the amended version was subsequently passed. See below for updates

Councillor Sarah Jane Smalley, who supports the Space for Cycling campaign and joined the Space for Cycling ride in May, has put a motion to the Sheffield City Council meeting next week which covers in some detail the barriers to creating Space for Cycling in Sheffield and calling on councillors so support the Space for Cycling campaign.

Last week CTC revealed that Sheffield doesn’t have the level support in its councillors for Space for Cycling as any of the other core cities, it’s ranked at the bottom when looking at councillor support rates. This motion calls on Councillors in Sheffield to turn that around and sign up to the campaign.

The motion also shows that when the core cities are ranked by capital spending, Sheffield falls well short of many of the Core Cities, simply because we did not apply for the Cycle City Ambition Grant last year, we were the only core city to not submit a bid. These grants take funding to over £10/head/year for two years, in Sheffield we spend far less.

Sarah Jane attended the Sheffield Council Forum last week and asked some questions about the cycling inquiry, I didn’t think that the answers she got were very reassuring. The cycle champion, Tim Rippon wasn’t their either so couldn’t provide any reassurance.

This motion is detailed and covers succinctly some of the key barriers to making Sheffield a place where anyone can ride a bike; funding, political support, planning, attendance of meetings, DfT consultation, engineer training and design guidance.

What can you do to help? You can write to your councillor, tell them you think they should support Space for Cycling, and ask them to support the motion at next weeks meeting. It will only take 2 minutes. You can find out if your councillor has already signed up here.

That this Council:-
(a)       affirms its commitment to Sheffield City Council’s Vision for Excellent Transport in Sheffield:We need to change the culture of how we use our roads, so that people are no longer afraid to cycle or allow their children to do so.  Our streets, roads and local communities need to become places for people, where cycling and walking are safe and normal;

(b)       regrets that only 11% of Sheffield City Councillors have signed up to support the Space for Cycling campaign, making Sheffield the lowest ranked of eight major English cities committing to space for cycling, as per the recent report from the national cycling charity CTC;

(c)        notes that other core cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle, spend in excess of £10.00 per head on capital funding for cycling including Highways, as they were successful in winning Cycle City Ambition Grants, which Sheffield City Council decided not to bid for;

(d)       regrets that Sheffield City Council spends only £1.89 per head on capital funding for cycling, including Highways, which is significantly lower than the £10.00 per head recommended by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s report;

(e)       commits to responding positively to the Government’s Cycling Delivery Plan (expected early December) which invites local authorities to submit expressions of interest in partnering with the Government to deliver ambitious growth in cycle use;

(f)        welcomes feedback from Cycle Sheffield, CTC and individuals heralding Sheffield City Council’s Cycle Inquiry as a good practice example of capturing evidence, input and expertise;

(g)       is concerned that policy agreement is not turning into action, as demonstrated by slippage against the recommendations and delivery milestones agreed by the Cabinet in July 2014 relating to the Cycling Inquiry Report as follows:

(i)         the Sheffield Cycle Group with Cycle Sheffield and in consultation with partners and the public, and/or a cross-departmental Council working group chaired by Transport Planning consulting with partners has not been established;

(ii)        the drawing up of the revised Sheffield Cycle Action Plan, plan of the strategic cycling network and delivery plan by the groups in paragraph (g)(i) above was timetabled to take place Sept-Nov 2014 but haven’t been carried out, making ……

(iii)       ….. consultation on the Cycling Action Plan and Delivery Plan and Consultation on Network Plan due in January 2015, with approval April – June 2015 unlikely, based on current performance;

(h)       is further concerned that some recommendations from the report have not been carried out in earnest, or in full consultation with partners, organisations and others as per the report’s commitment, indicated by the following:

(i)         the Cycling Champions have not regularly attended Cycle Forum meetings or established regular diarised meetings with partners such as Cycle Sheffield or CTC to ensure that the recommendations from the report are being progressed;

(ii)        the Council did not seek input to any response to the DfT consultation on Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2015 (TSGRD) despite commitment to helping to encourage and enable cycling through DfT regulation on allowing separate traffic lights for cycling;

(iii)       whilst a Cycle Audit process has been developed and is being applied to all new highway schemes, it includes no scale or metrics and therefore carries negligible weight; this is despite recommendations at Cycle Forum for a more stringent procedure and existing good practice which has been developed and could be easily replicated, for example from the London Cycle Design Standards and/or Welsh Active Travel Bill Guidance;

(iv)       Highways Engineers have not received any Continuous Professional Development/Workplace Development to ensure that they can bring the new Transport Vision into reality in relation to Cycle Design;

(i)         therefore urges the Administration to establish the Sheffield Cycle Group as per its commitment;

(j)         further urges the responsible Cabinet Member to ensure that progress against the Cycling Inquiry recommendations and Delivery Milestones is made publicly available on at least a bi-monthly basis, and which will include the communication of recommended actions and actions taken to remedy slippages;

(k)        calls for Highways guidance to be amended to ensure that the Transport Vision in paragraph (a) above is considered and relevant action taken from a pre-planning stage;

(l)         requests that all Highways Engineers receive Cycle Design Training, so that this is properly considered from a pre-planning stage; as an example, Sustrans offers such training, endorsed and certified by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation;

(m)      notes the publication of the document “Making Space for Cycling; A guide for new developments and street renewals”, published by Cyclenation and supported by Bike Hub, CTC, British Cycling, Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, London Cycling Campaign, CPRE and Cambridge Cycling Campaign, and commits to promoting its active use in Highways planning; and

(n)       encourages Members to sign up to support the CTC Space for Cycling campaign, in addition to supporting this Motion.

5th December Update

The full council meeting took place a couple of days ago, Leigh Bramall, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development proposed an amendment that deleted the entire motion and replaced it with some new text.

When I asked, “Does Sheffield Council have what it takes to create Space for Cycling?”, we now know that the answer is a firm no.

  1. Amendment to be moved by Councillor Leigh Bramall, seconded by Councillor Cate McDonald

             That the Motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of all the words after the words “That this Council” and the addition of the following words therefor:-

(a)       confirms the present Administration’s commitment to significantly increasing the numbers of people cycling in Sheffield;

(b)       notes the Get Britain Cycling report that put forward a series of recommendations to increase cycling provision in Britain;

(c)        further notes that Sheffield was unique among the big cities in setting up an all-party Cycling Inquiry, working with Cycle Sheffield, to consider how the issues set out in the Get Britain Cycling report should be taken forward and implemented in Sheffield, and confirms that all 18 recommendations from the report were signed up to by the current Administration, with a full report due in summer 2015 to set a timetable and pathway as to how each recommendation will be implemented;

(d)       notes that the Cycling Inquiry does not sit in isolation but instead builds upon actions already underway to boost cycling including:

A commitment – ahead of many other cities – to progressively roll out 20mph areas to cover the whole city;

  • A continued commitment to the Cycle Boost scheme, which has now more than doubled the number of people cycling to work;
  • Investment in new cycle routes across the city;
  • Supporting the development of a new Cycle Hub at Sheffield train station and ongoing work to develop further hubs in the south of the city and at Meadowhall;
  • Installation of new bike pumps for public use around the city centre; and
  • Support for the Tour de France coming to the city; and

(e)          given this record and commitment to an increased focus on cycling, therefore regrets that  such a simplistic mechanism as the number of Councillors who have signed up to the Space for Cycling campaign has been used as a barometer for the city’s record on cycling.

 

South Yorkshire Local Sustainable Transport Fund 2015/16 – ‘Inmotion! altogether better travel’

LSTF Cycling part

The DfT have released the winning bids for the latest round of LSTF to cover 2015/16. This grant only covers revenue (ongoing costs), capital expenditure has been wrapped up in the Local Growth Fund. In South Yorkshire the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) submitted the bid along with the Passenger Transport Executive, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Total project cost of £6.325 million, with £1.479 million from local contribution and £4.811 million from the LSTF grant.

The cycling element makes up 35% of the total scheme and consists of supporting 2-3 cycle hubs in each district (presumably Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley) which will have a shop, parking, bike hire, cafe, showers, training, repairs etc. The Cycle Boost scheme looks to continue, and I think a Sheffield Sky Ride event will come from this budget.

The benefit cost ratio is calculated as 3.9 but I think most of this comes from the mass participation Sky Ride event, the stated benefits of which seem to be a little dubious!

In addition, to capitalise on the Tour de France, a mass participation event is planned for Sheffield attracting 10,000 cyclists leading to almost 500,000 car kms saved in the first year.

Part LSTF Contribution Local Contribution Total
Total LSTF Scheme £4,811,000 £1,479,000 £6,325,000
Cycling Element: Cycle Boost Hubs £1,593,597 £568,148 £2,196,205 (35%)
LSTF Cycling part

LSTF Cycle Boost Hubs

 

A note on the costs of LSTF. The local and LSTF contributions to the Cycle Boost Hubs don’t add up to the total cost, £34,000 is missing! The total LSTF project cost when adding up the schemes come to £442k less than the stated full scheme cost, where is this almost half a million pounds going?

LSTF Project Costs not adding up?

LSTF Project Costs not adding up?

On another note, transparency surrounding this application has been very poor. I had to submit an FOI request to a local authority to get a copy. It has been published on the internet, but at an unpublished url of http://www.inmotion.co.uk/lstfbid which isn’t included in the sites sitemap or linked to any news article or press release!

On yet another note, the DfT originally stated that they would provide £78.5m to LSTF projects, but only £64m has been allocated! Where is this missing £14.5m?