Campaign promotes better conditions for riders

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

About 240 riders took a 4.5 mile route from Sheffield city centre to Hunters Bar and back via Nether Edge as part of a drive to improve conditions for local cyclists.

The Space for Cycling initiative wants a reduction in ‘rat runs’ in residential areas, better junction design, segregated bike lanes on busy roads and a “joined-up” cycling network in the city centre and suburban centres.

Campaign group CycleSheffield is urging the council to start designing and constructing “so that every Sheffield child is able to cycle safely to school”.

Group chair Mick Nott said: “If we see cross-party political will and commitment and planning officers throwing their weight behind cycling in their actions, then Sheffield could be on its way to becoming a cycling city.”

Saturday’s ride was “a real success”, he said. “For 240 people to turn up to show their desire for Space for Cycling and have a joyful time riding through our city together sends a message to councillors that cycling is something that many more people would do if they felt the roads were designed and built better and space and transport planning put the needs of vulnerable road users first.

“As we cycled around we received so much support from people on the streets and people in cars and buses towards this ride that it shows that cycling in Sheffield will be popular.

“One lady said that she didn’t own a bike because she was too scared to ride on the road on her own, but had heard about the campaign and borrowed a bike especially to join in.” Mick added: “This is our mandate to say that Sheffielders want Sheffield to be a cycling city now, so, Sheffield City Council, just do it!”

The council has said it supports the ambition of 10% of Sheffield trips made by bike by 2025 and 25% by 2050.

The latest figures indicate bike trips 2%.