Why I don’t trust Sheffield Council on transport, and why you shouldn’t either

Never ever believe anything from Sheffield City Council without double checking the facts and confirming it for yourself.

Case in point, the Penistone Road Pinchpoints scheme. We’ve been lead to believe that funding was restricted to reducing congestion for motor transport and could not be spent on cycling or walking. This is not true and these statements were extremely misleading.

The motor centric nature of transport planning in Sheffield is deeply entrenched and needs to be challenged at every opportunity.

Department For Transport Pinch Points Fund Guidance

Investment need not be restricted to roads and can include investment in cycling and bus infrastructure to help reduce congestion on road networks and/or demonstrate the links to growth.

Quotes from Sheffield City Council

John Bann responded that he took on board all the points raised in relation to cycling and pedestrian facilities. The scheme was possible because of funding from the Government specifically targeted at easing congestion through easing the traffic flow and helping bus services.

John Bahn – Sheffield City Council

I think it must be remembered that this scheme is being largely funded from the Government’s ‘Pinchpoint’ programme, which as the name implies is aimed at relieving localised congestion. In this regard there are some benefits for private vehicle users but really only in terms of better capacity at junctions, not in terms of additional lanes or higher priorities… For the above reasons it is fair to say that the funding is not specifically for cyclists and pedestrians but we do feel that we have managed to incorporate major benefits for both these user groups…

In summary although the ‘Pinchpoint’ and ‘Better Buses’ schemes both look specifically to tackling issues relating to ‘motorised’ forms of transport on the Penistone Road corridor

Andrew Marwood – Sheffield City Council

Councillor Leigh Bramall commented that part of the problem in relation to the objections raised was around the way that the funding came through and what the Government required it to be used for. Improving bus times and viability was a crucial element to the scheme as, after the Parkway, this was the major traffic corridor into the City.

Councillor Leigh Bramall – Sheffield City Council

It isn’t the perfect cycle orientated scheme but it was never going to be-the funding restrictions saw to that for a start.

Councillor George Lindars-Hammond – Sheffield City Council

2 thoughts on “Why I don’t trust Sheffield Council on transport, and why you shouldn’t either

  1. Richard Burton

    Had exactly the same where I live, a DfT funded pinch point scheme where the local authority, South Gloucestershire, ignored every policy they had, including the congestion policy, and are making it more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. We responded to the consultation, we raised a petition, we asked our MP to intervene and to contact DfT, but all the significant decisions had already been taken before the consultation opened, but they did add a couple of dropped kerbs! I took it too the council’s own complaints process, and I’ve just heard that they say they didn’t do anythiing wrong, so next step is the ombudsman.

    I checked the DfT application forms and there is nothing in them which says that the funds are solely for motorised transport.

    Reply
    1. Matt Post author

      Thanks Richard, that’s really interesting and is very similar to what’s happened in Sheffield, however we do have a footpath conversion to shared use…!

      I’ve heard that the scheme just down the road in Rotherham is the same too… I need to look at that in more detail.

      I’d like to do a review of all of the schemes around the country, it’d be far too much work though.

      However… now that I think about it, our combined transport authority submitted their own bid, and that’s been funding tram rail replacement works. Perhaps the only example which isn’t motor traffic focused?

      Reply

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