Cycle network improvements create pedal power for Sheffield

Extending and upgrading bike routes across Sheffield is providing a boost to the city’s cycling community.

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Streets Ahead has delivered a series of improvements to cycling paths as part of the overall highway maintenance programme in Sheffield. The vast majority of cycle journeys in the city are now made along main roads using on-road cycle routes where they are present.

Speaking of the improvements made, Nick Hetherington, Network Asset Manager says:

“We received many complaints when we first started work regarding the poor state of many of the city’s main roads which were of particular concern to cyclists.

“The biggest improvement for them has been the resurfacing of those roads, making them smoother and safer for cyclists.”

This comes as cyclists across the city have been gearing up for Cycle September – a free competition to see which workplace can encourage the most people to try riding. Organisations from around the world are taking part with national and local leader boards.

In South Yorkshire, 2,893 people from 260 organisations, including 586 people new to cycling, have registered for the event which is supported by Sheffield City Council, Move More and The Outdoor City.

Cycling is a key priority within the City Centre Masterplan with several projects being rolled out in 2018 including a new cycle hub offering secure public cycle parking and maintenance services modelled on the successful Midland Station cycle hub.

The Masterplan also includes proposals for dedicated Priority Networks for those travelling by bike, six high quality strategic cycle routes across the city centre, improved access across the ring road for cyclists and the linking of key radial cycle routes in the Riverside area.

Sheffield is home to a number of cycling groups, clubs and forums.

Rosie Frazer, of Love to Ride South Yorkshire, which is running Cycle September, said:

“Over 2,800 cyclists are taking part in the free Love to Ride programmes in South Yorkshire, and from talking to local people for many years, we know that potholes and bad road surfaces have been a real deterrent to getting more Sheffielders cycling.

“Lumps, bumps and holes in the road can be really dangerous for cyclists, particularly people new to cycling, and the smoother roads we’re getting through Streets Ahead are making cycle journeys easier as well as safer – riding up some hills when the wind’s behind you is now almost like riding on the flat!

“There’s still work to do, but smoother roads and better quality cycle paths will definitely help to get more people on their bikes during our Cycle September, and more people cycling is good for everyone in the Outdoor City.”

Sheffield has already hosted a number of major cycling events this year including Let’s Ride Sheffield, the 2018 WNT Sheffield Grand Prix, Ride for Eric 2018 and the final round of the 2018 Sheffield Urban CX Series at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

Other events taking place in the city in 2018 include Cycle 300 for Cancer Research, where participants choose their own route and Sheffield Cycling 4 All – cycling for people with disabilities every Tuesday and Thursday up until December 13 in Hillsborough Park.

More information about cycling in Sheffield is available at www.sheffield.gov.uk.

David Bocking
David Bockinghttps://medium.com/@dbocknews
I’m a Sheffield-born feature writer and photographer covering the northern Peak District and The Outdoor City. We live in the best walking, running, climbing and cycling city in England, and I reckon should all stop taking it for granted!