Monthly Archives: December 2012

UK Investment In Local Sustainable Transport – The vision (or lack of!)

A few years ago the Department For Transport announced £600 million investment for the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, the LSTF.

The biggest funding source for local transport authorities for Sustainable Transport is the LSTF, the fund was designed to pay for projects from 2011 to 2015, there are 96 projects across England. What did the Department for Transport hope to achieve with this? They set out their vision for ideas in this helpful illustration. The suggestions for cycle infrastructure don’t give me any confidence that the LSTF will have much of an impact on cycling.

LSTF Packages DFT

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How much does investment in cycling cost?

I’ve been reviewing a few documents from the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (which cover Sheffield) and was shocked at the cost of some of their cycling initiatives. I’ve collated most of the examples I could find from the LSTF funding bid from 2011, most of these schemes will be constructed/run in the next 2/3 years.

All of these figures come from the LSTF Bid documents which are available here but they’re pretty tough to read! Annex 01 has maps/descriptions and Annex 02 has detailed costings.

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Cycle Training – The best solution for bad infrastructure

Paul Blomfield

Paul Blomfield

Paul Blomfield, a local Sheffield MP, has recently written an article for the Yorkshire Post entitled “Tour fires starting gun for a cycling revolution”, a reference to the news that the Tour De France will be vising Yorkshire in 2014 for the Grand Depart.

This is excellent news and seems to have been well received, I’m really hopeful that the tour coming back to England, along with all the recent positive (and negative) press cycling has been getting will help to increase the number of people using bicycles.

Paul says that cycling has seen huge growth in Sheffield over the past decade and that a long term aim should be that cycling should be considered for all new road schemes, a view that I strongly support and have previously stated here.

Blocked - The taxi drivers use the cycle lane as an extension of the taxi rank

Blocked – The taxi drivers use the cycle lane as an extension of the taxi rank

Unfortunately it seems that some new schemes in Sheffield still include dangerous cycle facilities. Sheffield City Council needs to do more to protect the existing cycle infrastructure from abuse, even from the organisations we expect to be protecting it.

The real crux of Paul’s article is that the government should start investing in cycle training schemes. He states that cycle training helps cyclists to be safe and confident on the roads, that cyclists don’t need to stick to the edge of the road and that using the road in a confident and assertive manner will help to keep you safe.

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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: https://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:

Sheffield – Time for a transport revolution

Census figures released yesterday show that 1 in every 3 households in Sheffield do not have access to a car.

You’d never think that looking at the design of Sheffield, everything is catered to the car.

Lets shake things up and invest in some real cycling infrastructure for the 3rd of households in Sheffield who do not have access to a car.

Sheffield:
Number of Households: 229,928
No cars or vans in household: 75,968 (33.0%)

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-286262
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/key-statistics-for-local-authorities-in-england-and-wales/rft-table-ks404ew.xls

 

Lord Taverne: My Lords, does the Minister accept that the bicycle is the most efficient machine ever invented for converting energy into motion and that the bicycle could be accurately described as a green car that can run on tap water and tea cakes and has a built-in gym? Does he therefore agree that it makes sense to base policy for private urban transport on the motto, “Two wheels good; four wheels bad”?

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/121210-0001.htm#1212107000005

Modern Sheffield Junction Design. Safety? What’s that then?

Star Front Page

The Star – Local Sheffield Newspaper – The most dangerous cycle lane in Sheffield?

I couple of months ago I highlighted the dangers to cyclists of a new junction in Sheffield City Centre at Furnival Gate/Pinstone Street.

The problem is clear for everyone to see, there isn’t enough room to use both the cycle and road lane with the result that cyclists next to vehicles are dangerously squeezed out.

Warning! This story is long and winding and may induce a feeling of disillusionment and hopelessness. Take a deep breath and prepare yourself before reading, we’re entering the mysterious world of local council highway design!

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The ongoing saga of Sheffield’s Castle Street cycle lane

Castle Street cycle lane is a contraflow cycle lane on a one way street in Sheffield. It has been here since March 1997 and allows cyclists enter the city centre from the network of cycle paths on the East, avoiding some big arterial routes with no cycling provision.

A great cycle facility, allows cyclists to enter the city centre avoiding the big arterial routes.

For the past 15 years this cycle lane has been plagued by Hackney Carriage drivers parking illegally on this cycle lane, blocking cyclists access and forcing them into oncoming traffic. This has been the case for over a decade.

There is a taxi rank on the pavement side of the cycle lane, taxis often fill up this rank and overflow, parking in the cycle lane, blocking the way for cyclists.

Blocked – The taxi drivers use the cycle lane as an extension of the taxi rank

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