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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.

Cyclists sue Metrolink after coming off their bikes on tramlines

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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antigee | 8 years ago

Lived in Sheffield many years and the this is a serious issue - the road layout of the tram tracks combined with the layout of the city means that at some locations cyclists have no choice but to mix it directly with tram tracks - I consider myself a very experienced rider and have had two incidents which I would consider to be very serious near misses.

I would congratulate cyclesheffield for continuing to press the council on this matter and for keeping this issue in the press - can only hope that other authorities that are planning tram systems see this as an issue and don't ignore it at the design stage. (Edinburgh anyone?)

Currently live in Melbourne, Aus' lots of trams like Amsterdam and like many older systems the tram lines are in the middle of the road, except for taking care with crossing junctions in the wet, this style of tram track layout is not an issue.

KnightBiker | 8 years ago

Come on - cycle paths in amsterdam cross and run alongside tram tracks all the time. It there, the cyclist can see it and should understand to cross them at an angle. Improvements on road infrastructure might improve general safety but the tramlines themselves probably aren't the problem. Bad road surface and potholes are a different matter that should be adressed as such.

bumble | 8 years ago

Sheffield Council  is fiercely anti-cycling, enthusiastically embracing any and all oppurtunities to make cycling more dangerous, and less appealing.

massive holes in the road, and slippery tram tracks are welcome 'natural' barriers to beginners, and weapons against the stubborn.

it seems that numbers of people attempting to ride their bikes from A to B are increasing slightly, so expect Sheffield Council to increase the severity of the punishments.

I wish i was kidding.

therealsmallboy | 8 years ago

Uglybovine- they still haven't, no. Not particularly fun.


Not only are they still badly-laid and slippery etc., they have also now delapidated to the point where cyclists have to hop, swerve and dodge giant holes in the concrete underlayer.


The council try to fix these holes by stuffing asphalt into them, but I'm guessing the difference in the properties of the two materials prevent them  from working together and the repair just crumbles and ends up lying across the road within about a month. Holme Lane from Malin Bridge to Hillsborough is an utter joke, it's really quite dangerous.


Where asphalt wears away gradually, generally producing a smooth hole that you can often get away with rolling into, concrete cracks off instead leaving a sharp-edged square crevice that is very affective at destroying bike wheels and causing cars to spin round in the wet (I saw the aftermath of a crash last year where a car had spun like this and skidded backwards into one coming the other way).It's like riding on soap in the wet.


They need to sort it out- it's a real problem.

uglybovine | 8 years ago

Have they still not sorted the tram lines in Sheffield? I switched to a mountain bike with 2.3" tyres for riding in the city when I lived there as a student, just so the front wheel wouldn't disappear into the track. In 1995.

FerrisBFW | 8 years ago
1 like

This should be easy.  Close all the cycle lanes near the trams, and ban cycling ...  What else can be done near tram lines?

Paul_C replied to FerrisBFW | 8 years ago
FerrisBFW wrote:

This should be easy.  Close all the cycle lanes near the trams, and ban cycling ...  What else can be done near tram lines?

in the short term, fit those rubber gap fillers to the lines where they have to be crossed... in the long term, re-engineer the cycleway to keep it well clear of the tram lines and to only cross them at right angles like the Dutch and Danes do... it's not rocket science...

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