Category Archives: Castle Street

Formal warnings issued to Taxi drivers for parking on Sheffield cycle lane at Castle Street

I’ve written about Castle Street cycle lane repeatedly over the past year. It’s frequently used by taxi’s and the police as a place to park causing an obstruction to all vehicles on the road and especially anyone trying to use the contraflow bicycle lane.

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

A story has appeared in today’s local paper the Sheffield Star on page 4 about the next Taxi Licensing Enforcement review which features Castle Street.

They reveal that 201 warning letters have been issued to drivers since September 2012 and that “Most warnings related to drivers waiting to pick up passengers on Castle Street, where 118 warning letters were sent out for ‘causing a hazard or obstruction’ to pedestrians, cyclists and buses.”

The council report states:

Taxi ReportThis area continues to be of concern for cyclists and a number of warning letters and formal warnings have been issued to drivers who have repeatedly transgressed in this particular area.

118 warning letters and 2 Defect notices have been issued to drivers in this period of enforcement activity, for causing a hazard or obstruction on this particular road.

5 Formal warnings have been issued, these are issued to drivers who have transgressed in this particular area before and are warned that further problems may lead to a Licensing Sub Committee referral for persistent contraventions.

http://meetings.sheffield.gov.uk/council-meetings/licensing-committee/agendas-2013/agenda-25th-july-2013

I’ll plan to go to the meeting on Thursday (where this will be discussed) and ask them to step up proactive monitoring of this site so that I don’t need to report so many incidents. I plan to invite the department to join me for 30 minutes one day to observe the behavior of drivers on Castle Street.

Good progress I think.

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

 

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: 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:

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

Continue reading

Castle Street Sheffield – Cycle Lane Parking – Google and Bings Perspective

There is a cycle lane in Sheffield on Castle Street that provides access to the city centre for cyclists who wish to avoid the arterial routes that still dominate the area.

This cycle lane is a contraflow lane, it is clearly marked and has a solid white line to separate it from the oncoming carriageway.

There is a nearby taxi rank and for many years taxis have been using the cycle lane as an extension to the taxi rank forcing cyclists using it into the oncoming carriageway. Any cyclist who asks them to move, or takes photo’s as evidence, is met with angry taxi drivers.

Google and Bing have been recording this junction for some time, lets have a look at what they’ve seen.

A message to Sheffield Council: The Google Streetview car has been in Sheffield over the past couple of days, I wonder what the latest images will show…