Plans to scrap Sheffield bus lanes shelved after protests from cyclists
Cyclists said getting rid of bus lanes would force them between two lanes of heavy traffic
Controversial plans to remove bus lanes from a busy road in Sheffield have been changed after cyclists protested that it could make them more vulnerable.
Plans to alter the layout of a stretch of road between Hunters Bar and Rustlings Road have been put on hold while the council looks at other routes for cyclists, including a possible cut-through at Endcliffe Park.
Another bus lane at Psalter Lane will be still be removed, but replaced with an ‘advisory’ cycle lane, that cars will still be allowed in.
The council’s plans were introduced in order to ease the flow of traffic and improve pedestrian safety, and it was estimated that some bus journeys could be shortened by three to four minutes.
But cycle campaign groups, along with the Sheffield Green Party and the local MPPaul Blomfield, insisted that cyclists could be squeezed between two lanes of heavy traffic and made even more vulnerable.
CycleSheffield said in a statement to the Sheffield Telegraph: “Cities all over the world are making space for sustainable transport whether it is bikes, buses, trams or trains, while Sheffield tries to make more space for private cars.”
Sheffield Greens said: “Cyclists will face real danger getting across two lanes of cars riding uphill to the right turn into Rustlings Road. ”
On their website, CycleSheffield claimed the Save The Bus Lane campaign a success.
They wrote: “So, a partial victory for us, and the principle we hope that you can’t just take out bus lanes without considering cyclists.
“We don’t particularly want to share space with buses but at the moment it’s all we have in many locations.”
The bus lane news comes soon after Sheffield vowed to create 1,000 new cyclists this year, part of a campaign known as Sheffield Cycleboost, launched last month and run by local bike groups on behalf of the city council.
We reported how bike shops including Langsett and James Cycles, Recycle Bikes, AE Butterworths and Over-Ride will be offering tempting discounts on gear, while eateries such as Bragazzis and Nonna's new Streetfood Cafe will be giving cardholders cut-price nosh.
It's also hoped that the card will keep purchases related to the cycling push local, making shops around town competitive with the big online retailers.
And just this month the city council announced plans to spend almost £900,000 hosting the finish of the second stage of next year’s Tour de France.
But Sheffield City Council says the race will bring £15 million in direct and indirect revenue to the area’s economy.
The council expects about 250,000 spectators to line the 19-mile section of the route in the city.
It said the event would bring up to "£10m of direct economic benefit and £5m of place marketing value to the city".