Sheffield cyclist accuses Supertram of ignoring potholes near tram tracks

Supertram says it is exploring ‘alternative products’ that will deliver longer-lasting repairs

A cyclist has accused Supertram of ignoring some potholes and doing a bodge job on others next to its tram tracks in Sheffield.

Graham Storey made the comments after reporting a 'dangerous' hole that he hit on the Hillsborough Corner junction between Holme Lane and Bradfield Road.

"I spoke to the person in charge of tram track repair," he said. "He said they had difficulty in scheduling the work to do a permanent job when the tram system is closed down.

"I appreciated the point he made and suggested some tarmac could easily be put in as a temporary measure at any time when the trams were closed down as these pot holes were dangerous."

After a week, nothing had been done, and Storey got in touch with The Star. A temporary repair was subsequently carried out.

"Supertram have now, over a month later, just got round to putting a few shovels full of tarmac into these potholes. They have done a bodge job of only putting some tarmac in some of the holes of which these are already sinking.”

Storey said that numerous other dangerous potholes in the immediate vicinity had been completely ignored.

"It seems strange to me that having spent millions of pounds recently putting in new track that it is now breaking up and dangerous in such a short time," he said.

A spokesman for Supertram said it undertook a 'continuous' programme of repairs across the network.

"We act quickly to carry out temporary repairs to any concrete defects, often within the hour, to make them safe before scheduling a full repair as soon after as possible.

"Repairs are assessed and prioritised dependent on their level of severity, their location and how easily they can be accessed with or without a road closure being required.

“Over the last year we have introduced a new inspection regime to alert our engineers to defects even more quickly and have increased the number of people working within our engineering department who make these repairs.

"We are also working with partners to explore alternative products that will help to make repairs easier and longer lasting."

Cycle Sheffield say that since January 2015, almost 500 tram track incidents have been reported to them via the Tram Crash page of their website.

The group 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 that people don’t need to share the road with trams.

Speaking last year, 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’.”

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