By May Loonam
Cyclists in the city are calling for action after receiving over 302 accident reports on tram tracks in the city, about 230 of which have happened in the last 2 years.
According to CycleSheffield, some of the accidents are very severe, and there have been reports that some have had to leave their jobs because of the head injuries they have received.
The campaign group said a lack of safety provision by Sheffield City Council is putting people off cycling.
Sheffield City Council wrote a report in 1998 called ‘an investigation into cyclist safety on the Supertram network’ which made a series of recommendations which have not yet been implemented, according to CycleSheffield. There were also proposals for improvements in the council’s 2006 Cycle Action Plan, which were also not implemented.
Dexter Johnstone, from CycleSheffield, said: “The council need to take short term measures to try and resolve specific accident hotspots. In the long run, the council needs to create a cycle network so that cyclists do not have to share the road with tram tracks – they create too many potential hazards.
“We campaign for a city where everyone has the freedom to ride a bike. Many people would like to cycle but are put off by having to share the roads with heavy traffic, buses, lorries or tram tracks. The council needs to create separate cycle routes to encourage more people on their bikes. They also need to do things like reduce speed limits and prevent ‘rat running’ through residential areas. These kind of measures are known as ‘Space for Cycling.’
“I would ask potential cyclists to join CycleSheffield and help with our campaigning. I would encourage them to contact their councillors and explain their concerns. I would also encourage them to get out and about on their bikes but to avoid going near the tram tracks.”
Sheffield City Council said accidents are an issue for any city with a tram service but that it was looking in to “possible solutions” in some areas.