Liberal Democrat councillors have fiercely criticised Sheffield Council for a ‘cycle lane spending splurge’, reports the Sheffield Star.
Almost £600,000 is being spent on cycle route projects in the area this financial year, while the budget for local highway schemes has been reduced by near £500,000.
The projects include a £200,000 cycle track on Penistone Road and a £17,406 cycle way along Meadowhead, Bochum Parkway and Dykes Lane. The final project is a Halfway to Killamarsh Connect2 route, which Sheffield Council is paying £355,000 to a total cost of £1.3 million.
Lib Dems said a number of highways projects – including a new pedestrian crossing at Fulwood Road in Broomhill – have had to be abandoned to to highway budget cuts.
“This cycle lane spending splurge at the expense of valuable local highways schemes shows Labour have got their priorities wrong,” said Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, Lib Dem group leader and Broomhill councillor.
“Many important schemes have been abandoned, including vital road safety work right across Sheffield that has been campaigned for by local people for many years. While it’s true to say there is less investment about – thanks to the financial mess Labour helped create nationally – there are resources available as this new £700,000 for cycle lanes demonstrates.”
According to the Star, Labour admitted £488,000 had been cut from the Community Assemblies highway budgets but said this was to ensure it took its ‘fair share’ of the 50 per cent transport budget cut from the Government. It was added that half of the funding for the Penistone Road cycle track came from Government and that the council has reduced the amount for the Killamarsh project by £120k – from 475k proposed by the Lib Dems when they were in power. Labour added it had found ‘extra cash’ for highway projects by reducing the cost of other projects.