Category Archives: police

South Yorkshire Police repeatedly parking coaches on segregated cycle track on Asline Road in Sheffield

If you feel strongly about this, please join me in taking direct action as part of a protest on 22nd March. Facebook event here.

When a football match takes place in Sheffield at Bramall Lane, coaches carrying fans need somewhere to park. This task is managed by South Yorkshire Police who direct them to park along Asline Road cycle track. This is part of the Sheaf Valley Route and is one of the few safe ways to avoid cycling along the terrifying Queens Road or London Road.

Coaches blocking Asline Road cycle track in Sheffield

South Yorkshire Police directed these coaches to park here

Chris Rust has written about the issue on his blog here as well as CycleSheffield pressuring both Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Police without much progress. South Yorkshire Police don’t have a very good reputation for respecting cycle infrastructure.

South Yorkshire Police need to stop directing coaches to park on Asline Road cycle track.

Official Twitter feeds have stated that the cycle track subject to a road closure order (it is not), and that they will try to park the coaches somewhere else (they haven’t) and that it is for public safety (presumably excluding people on bikes).

 

 

Whoever posts on this Twitter account on behalf of South Yorkshire Police needs to stop talking rubbish and making stuff up!

 

The Inspector with responsibility for the South Yorkshire Police Operational Planning Unit has written to me about this. You can write to him too, he’s on Twitter.

the twitter feed you refer to was an error of understanding in terms of the road closure order, this does not actually cover Alsine[sic] Road. You are quite right to point out that the parking of the coaches in that location is inappropriate.

Parking of coaches on Asline Road has been custom and practice for many years however I appreciate that this doesn’t make it right to block the cycle path. As a result of recent contacts I am aware that some of my team have been working with Sheffield United to resolve this issue and I have been seeking the considerations of the safety advisory group.

I will be able to update you further in the near future but for now please be assured that we are working on this and will seek a solution that does not compromise the cycle path.

Neil Mutch – South Yorkshire Police (my emphasis)

This letter was back on the 6th Feb. One month on, the police are still directing visiting coaches to park on Asline Road cycle track. This video shows that the coaches are given a police motorbike escort from the football ground to the cycle track.

So, my question to Neil Mutch, Operational Planning Unit Inspector, when will your operational plans comply with the law and stop endangering people who ride bikes?

Sheffield City Council have the responsibility for enforcing parking, will Sheffield City Council stand up to South Yorkshire Police and issue parking tickets to dangerously/illegally parked vehicles? Do they have the guts to ask them to stop abusing Sheffield’s cycle infrastructure? Will they ask South Yorkshire Police to behave responsibly?

I doubt South Yorkshire Police will change their ways any time soon, or that Sheffield City Council will step up to the mark and prevent South Yorkshire Police from breaking the law. If the authorities won’t act then we must take a stand. This weekend – Saturday 22nd March – we will protest against the abuse of Asline Road cycle track. The cycle track will be occupied by cyclists and will not be available for parking coaches. We will ensure that it remains open for people to cycle on. It’s insane that these extreme measures are necessary to ensure that a cycle track remains unobstructed, but it seems that this is all we have left.

If you wish to join me and take a stand then join the Facebook event here

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

Sheffield Police – Yes, they’re still at it!

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane - 30th March 2013

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane – 30th March 2013

Sheffield Police seem to be under the impression that they can leave their vehicles in mandatory cycle contraflow lanes even though they have a car park across the road.

The people on the front line (receptionists, policemen) seem to think that I’m wasting their time complaining. I was made to feel like an idiot and that I was in the wrong for asking the vehicles to be moved to their car park.

Well, they’re mistaken, we’re not playing games anymore, parking in this cycle lane opposite their own car park is no longer acceptable and has been condemned by SYP management with assurances given that it is not acceptable.

After I made my complaint I assume someone with some knowledge of the history got wind and asked for the vehicles to be moved immediately. 5 Minutes after being told that there was no where for the vehicles to park and it was necessary to block the cycle lane, the vans were moved into the police car park. A minor victory.

All photo’s on this post taken approximately 10:05 on 30th March 2013.

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane - 30th March 2013

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane – 30th March 2013

 

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane - 30th March 2013

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane – 30th March 2013

 

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane - 30th March 2013

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane – 30th March 2013

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane - 30th March 2013

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane – 30th March 2013

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane - 30th March 2013 Not even anyone waiting in the vehicle

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane – 30th March 2013
Not even anyone waiting in the vehicle

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane - 30th March 2013 Moved into the police carpark after a complaint made at the station

Blocking a contraflow cycle lane – 30th March 2013
Moved into the police carpark after a complaint made at the station

 

Road Safety – Not a priority in South Yorkshire #GetBritainCycling

Today in the Get Britain Cycling inquiry on Safety, the MET police said

 

South Yorkshire Police

South Yorkshire Police

How about locally in South Yorkshire? Well recently at the Police and Crime Panel Shaun Wright, the new Police and Crime Commissioner said

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: Police and Crime Panel Minutes 23rd November 2012

I’m not surprised based on my experience of the behavior of the local police.

The police try to justify parking on mandatory contraflow lanes

I’ve just had a talking to by a police officer for taking photo’s of a police van parked in the contraflow cycle lane on Castle Street.

He wasn’t too keen on me doing this, he said that I was very conspicuous and perhaps putting myself in danger, he understood that I was there because of the taxis. I was stood outside the police station, scoping out current behavior, not taking photos, there are still plenty of taxis parking illegally, I saw 4 in a 15 minute window, I started taking photos when the police van turned up. He said that the police have to park in this location to drop officers off at the station, I asked about their car park, he said that the vehicles could not fit because of low clearance.

I said that cyclists had been given assurances at Council Meetings by police representatives that they understood it was dangerous and a hazard for cyclists if vehicles were parked in the contraflow lane.

He said that the city centre was busy and if they had to park in normal spaces they’d never be able to get anything done.

This police officer was trying to justify the parking in this location… We have a long way to go in making Sheffield a good place to cycle if this is the attitude shown by South Yorkshire Police 🙁

Pictures/conversation at 12:28 today.

rsz_1p1050950

rsz_p1050945

Why did the policeman cross the road? Because he parked his van in the cycle lane opposite the station

South Yorkshire Police

South Yorkshire Police

I’ve blogged about Castle Street cycle lane before here: http://mattturner.blog/the-ongoing-saga-of-sheffields-castle-street-cycle-lane/

Today I headed down to try and film some taxis blocking the cycle lane, but I came across another set of vehicles using it…

The police have given us assurances that they know it is dangerous to park in this lane, that it causes traffic problems, that they will move vehicles on when they see them there, but I don’t think they are sincere.

“We come out of Snig Hill time and time again and they’re parked. And I can totally sympathise with you going back up towards Angel Street, we move them on for two reasons. They’re blocking the cycle path and they stick out that far into the road they stop buses as there’s a bus stop. They have a knock on effect that they hold everything else up behind them”

“That area comes under my beat area and I’ll pay it some attention, I’ll get down there as often as I can. Unfortunately I cant be there 24/7, it’s just not possible for us we don’t have the man power at the moment to be there all the time.”

Quote from South Yorkshire Police at a council meeting

Here I present my evidence that they are not being sincere: