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Cyclists call for action on Sheffield tram track

Local cycling campaign calls cycle collisions on tram tracks a "major problem" and asks the council to take action...

Cyclists in Sheffield are calling for action on tramlines after 228 cyclists have reported collisions in the past two years.

Cycle campaign group, CycleSheffield, set up the web page, Tram Crash, with the purpose of reporting these collisions to the council. The group says people have reported, on average, more than nine collisions per month.

CycleSheffield says no action has yet been taken from the council, however, and it wants to see cycle paths around the back of tram platforms in the short-term, and a cycle network with protected cycle tracks on main roads in the long term, so people don’t need to share the road with trams.

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Ian Carey, Chair of CycleSheffield said: "Trams are an important part of Sheffield's public transport system but sadly the issue of cycle accidents on the tram tracks is a major problem that must be tackled. Existing cycle infrastructure is poor, which discourages too many people from using their cycles on the roads of Sheffield.

Dexter Johnstone, of the Tram Crash website said: “Cycling along a tram track is a harrowing experience which puts people off cycling in Sheffield. The surface is increasingly poor with numerous potholes and little room for manoeuvre. Approaching tram platforms is a risky business, especially with vehicles passing too close and too fast for comfort.

“The tram network is 20 years old and there is no good reason why improvements to reduce cycle accidents have not been built by now. The council has still not implemented its own recommendations made in its 1998 ‘Investigation Into Cyclist Safety on the Supertram Network’.”

In a news release CycleSheffield quotes one cyclist, Kay Guccione, who sold her bike after a crash beside one of the tram platforms, where she says she tried to cross the tracks to avoid the platform overhang when her front wheel caught in the rail and she was thrown over the handlebars. Another claims she is still receiving physiotherapy eight months after a crash in which her front wheel went into the tracks, throwing her over the handlebars.

CycleSheffield says it is now in talks with a solicitor who represents cyclists injured in tram crashes in Manchester. Johnstone said anyone considering making a claim should contact CycleSheffield.

Carey said: “CycleSheffield hope that by providing the council with detailed evidence of the accidents they might finally take some action. Unfortunately this has not been the case. However, we will continue to work with the city council to improve cycling infrastructure”.          

A Sheffield City Council Spokesperson said: “Cycling is a big part of city life in Sheffield and we want to work with the cycling community to make sure our roads are as safe as possible. 

“We understand that tram tracks cause issues for road cyclists, a challenge that all cities with a tramway system face, and this is worldwide.  

“We have investigated specific areas where accidents have occurred and will soon be in a position to report on the best possible solutions.

"We value the input from Cycle Sheffield and we will continue to work them, along with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and will keep them informed at the relevant stages.”  


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