Sheffield – the good the bad & the ugly

We’ve started a dialogue with the council about which cycle facilities work in Sheffield and which ones don’t.

This is what we’ve figured out so far:

Savile St at Tescos.
Good: I like that all the work that has gone on round West Bar, Nursery St and Millsands with bike paths connecting over to Alma St and up to Pitsmoor – except the opportunity to put in dropped kerbs on desire paths for the bridge over the Don there was missed and make the pavement from the railway bridge on Pitsmooor Rd dual use!

Asline rd contraflow lane (except for the spurious road sign halfway along that obstructs it and the people who park on it)

Cycle lanes that allow you to do what cars can’t, e.g. the contra flow on Pinstone St. or the bit that takes you from Trippet Lane to Townhead St.

The right hand cycle lane down Snig Hill that takes one either onto Bridge St or to the Law Courts.
NCN67 from Richmond to the end of Stone Lane. (We don’t like the barriers but at least they conform to some kind of standard.)
Beeley Woods, although barrier at Oughtibridge end can take the skin off your knuckles if you try to ride through it, and the boulders at the Claywheels Lane end are potentially lethal.

Staveley Road / Saxon Road / Little London Road: Nice alternative to busy main roads.

Meadowhall to Butterthwaite Lane on old railway line, lovely, although barriers could be wider.

Cycle lanes under Hanover Way / Ecclesall Road roundabout. Retrofitting cycle lanes here does mean that visibility [of
pedestrians / other cyclists] is tricky at the exits but it’s all at fairly low speed so it all sort of works.

Howard St & Sheaf St: Both work well mixing peds & cyclists (visibility problem of peds reaching crossing from bus station though)

St. Georges Terrace / Beet St / top of Upper Allen S

Sunny Bank. The second oldest cycle facility in Sheffield (the oldest one is in Darnall) has proved it’s worth innumerable times over the years. The crossing facility across Ecclesall Rd works well – it’s when you get to Summerfield St that the problems start.


Spital Hill at Tescos .esp. the cycle lane tapering

The signal timings when turning right from Savile Street (new bit under the green rail Bridge) to the Inner Ring Road i.e. the length of time it takes a cyclists to cycle across six lanes of traffic (the ring road traffic will set off before many a cyclist can finish the manoeuvre.)
Penistone Rd cycle path, issues with priorities, lots of street furniture and services clutter in the path, and poor/incomprehensible connections across the road to the west side, eg at Livesey St going over to Bradfield Rd, the old Penistone Rd connnecting to Barnforth Rd.
Clarkehouse Rd – cycle lanes too narrow, only part time.
ASL with cycle lane at Wostenholme Road – too narrow to get through and you are squeezed up against parked cars.
Coming up Snig Hill there is a cycle lane at the top inviting you to turn left into Angel St,  yet cyclists following the Inner Ring cycle route need to turn right into Bank St at the top as well. Its difficult and hazardous for cycles to get across on that slope with 7 tonne buses up your backside and manoeuvre over to the right hand side  A right hand cycle lane would be helpful.
Endcliffe Vale Rd. A so-called “traffic-calmed”  road, on a signed cycle route, that actually encourages motorists to speed up and squeeze cyclists as they go through the build-outs.

Spital Hill uphill (already mentioned, but bears repeating) –

Burngreave Road bus gate uphill outside Steers off license: some motorists try to cut in front of cyclists (much mitigated by assertive cycling, but that shouldn’t be mandatory). Shy cyclists going up here tucking into the left of the lane are at risk of being overtaken (in my case by a white van, prior to my Pedal Ready training to prevent a future occurrence)

Chapeltown Road when going through Ecclesfield: Cycle lane markings esp. at road islands seem to encourage cyclists to take a non-assertive location and motorists to overtake unwisely – esp. consider this stretch wrt parked cars. The problem is most acute going uphill.

Western Bank uphill just before Weston Park hospital: The pelican crossing here includes a road narrowing for the crossing. It’s difficult to assert one’s road position when cycling slowly uphill here.

Summerfield St: The cycle lanes are far too narrow on this road. It would have been better to have no cycle lanes downhill (fast cycling so less need for a cycle lane) and a wide cycle lane uphill (slow cyclists), together with the centre line being correspondingly off centre so the uphill lane would be wider than the downhill to to allow for this wide uphill cycle lane.

Glossop Road / Hanover Way junction: Tram track danger – meet tram tracks at a difficult angle, on a busy road; very bad news for tram-track-inexperienced cyclists like new students esp. if wet.

Waingate into Castle St  – the cycle lane you can’t legally get into! And when you it’s full of queuing taxis.

Station Lane Oughtibridge. It doesn’t really fit as it is not a cycle facility  – far from it – but I’ll throw it in. The issue is how you access Greno Woods and the TPT From Oughty.

Downright Ugly:

Pinstone St to Furnival Gate cycle lane. Buses have to go into these as they make the turn.

Boulders at the Manor Way access point to the off-road section of the NCN.

What do you think? Leave us a comment below.