Leaving Sheffield City Centre you will soon find yourself on Penistone Rd heading north. You can start by taking the Kelham Island Cycle Route from Snig Hill, and take to the North Don Trail, temporarily signposted as part of NCN Route 6, which currently reaches Hillsborough – there is then a gap of a few hundred yards until you reach Beeley Woods Rd at the moment but it’s a start.)
Rumour has it that when the planners presented the then Director of Highways with a plan for the dualling of this road, complete with cycle lanes, toucan crossings and everything to make this flat route safe for cycling, he tore it up and said “we’re not having that!” Roads are for motors!” So now we have a fast busy dual carriageway (the speed limit is 30 but few motorists stick to it) with an inferior retro-fitted cycle track alongside it, or the dangers of the tram tracks on Langsett Rd to contend with. The traders of Hillsborough prefer to blame the tram, which actually brings shoppers to their doorstep, rather than the opening of a giant Morrison superstore and the aforementioned dualling of Penistone Rd which whisks the motorists of Hillsborough off to the City Centre and Meadowhall) for loss of business.
Crossing the busy Owlerton roundabout which at least now has toucan crossings, you start to climb, and the traffic doesn’t get any lighter – you are recommended to use the service roads running parallel to the dual carriageway for safety. You’ll notice the Trans-Pennine trail crossing the main road at Grenoside, and then the road flattens out as you pass through Greno woods – there are a couple of accident black spots in this section., and you are not far from the infamous Stocksbridge bypass – isn’t it funny how drivers always believe that something else, like the road itself is responsible for accidents? Breaking the speed limit and overtaking dangerously doesn’t seem to feature in their list of accident causes, somehow. If you’ve survived past this section, there’s a nice fast downhill on the dual carriageway, a couple of motorway-style roundabouts to negotiate, and you’re heading down to Worsborough , where the Trans-Pennine trail crosses again – faced with the option of a steep busy uphill, you might decide to take the trail for this section, and this isn’t such a bad idea, especially as some of it is properly paved. Otherwise, it’s up the hill, and down the other side into Barnsley.