A 19 point plan to encourage more people to use their bikes in Sheffield is set to be adopted by the City Council’s Cabinet next Wednesday (23 July).
The key recommendations will be considered by members aimed at getting people of all ages and backgrounds cycling in every part of the city.
There are many economic, health and environment benefits to be gained from more people choosing to cycle.
Cycling can provide an affordable, quick and efficient method of transport for many residents and visitors of the city.
It is estimated that 42 percent of all local trips are two miles or less, which is less than the average length of a cycling trip. Cycling can also provide a convenient travel option and a vital link to our public transport systems.
Around 60 percent of men and 70 percent of women are currently not physically active enough to benefit their health. Cycling offers the opportunity to build moderate, pleasant exercise into people’s daily routines.
This exercise can help counteract problems of overweight and obesity as well as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer in addition to improving mental well-being.
On average, people who cycle regularly enjoy a level of fitness of someone 10 years younger and halves their risk of heart disease.
It is intended to provide more cycle training next year, but this will depend on the level of funding available and involvement with schools and the public. In 2015/16 this came through the recently announced Local Sustainable Transport Fund 2 allocation for South Yorkshire. A grant application will also be made to Cycling England.
A great deal of training has already taken place in schools and this will continue, but it is proposed to extend this into secondary schools to support the continuation of cycling in the future.
There are opportunities to encourage staff in the Council’s contractors and partners, such as Amey, Veolia, Kier and Capita, to undertake cycle awareness training. This will build on work already in hand to improve safety on the roads.
Proposals from the Economic and Environmental Wellbeing Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee on 12 February 2014 devised 19 recommendations that are set to be adopted by the Cabinet next week.
Councillor Leigh Bramall, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development said: “Cycling can add to the quality of life in our local communities and play its part in a fully integrated transport network that will encourage reduced car usage, ease congestion and improve pollution levels across the whole of the city.
“We want people to be confident to cycle or allow their children to do so. Our streets, roads and local communities, need to become places for people, where cycling and walking are safe and normal.
“We aim to build on the enthusiasm generated by the Tour de France and want to ensure we maximise the benefits that cycling can contribute to the health and wealth of Sheffield. Linking this with improvements to the promotion of cycle tourism in and around Sheffield will help support our economy attracting both people and businesses to the area.”
The Council supports the aims of the Get Britain Cycling report to increase cycle use to 10 percent by 2025 and to 25 percent by 2050.
A revised Sheffield Cycle Action Plan based on the 19 Cycle Inquiry recommendations and incorporating a plan of the strategic cycling network and delivery plan will be drawn up by the newly-established Sheffield Cycle Group.
This is a cross departmental group working with Cycle Sheffield, other partners and the public and a plan will be brought back to a Cabinet meeting for approval in June 2015.
The Cabinet will meet in the Town Hall on Pinstone Street on Wednesday 23 July at 2pm.
Notes for editors: The Council is working as part of Cycle Yorkshire to deliver the actions that will meet the objectives of the approved 10 year Tour de France Legacy Strategy (http://www.cycle.yorkshire.com/the-strategy).
Amongst the proposals, it is intended to build cycle routes to cater for all users, encouraging training and free loans of bikes. The Council is looking to introduce a Cycle to Work scheme and will be promoting led bike rides, mass participation events and festivals with its partners, British Cycling.
Special signs have been erected along the route of the Tour and facilities will be extended for bike hire and bike hubs. The facilities for mountain biking and BMX riding will also be improved alongside work with the Peak District National Park to develop leisure and sports cycling.
The Economic and Environmental Wellbeing Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee has undertaken a Cycling Inquiry to review what is being done in Sheffield and what can be improved to improve the opportunities for cycling.
The Inquiry took a cross party approach and included cycling representatives on the task force. It reviewed the existing evidence on the impact of cycling on the local economy, health and environment, considered what is happening in Sheffield and other cities and talked to the people of Sheffield as well as external organisations. The Scrutiny Board set out a vision which, if supported and incorporated into the Council’s Vision for Excellent Transport in Sheffield, would help to guide the future of transport in Sheffield.
The recommendations have been considered and are all supported by the Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development. However delivery of the recommendations and the associated timescales will in many cases be dependent on funding made available by national Government. In addition support will be needed from across the Council as well as from the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and other partners.
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