Upper Don Trail

See our new Upper Don Trail video to learn about the progress we’ve made in the last year

See our new Upper Don Trail video to learn about the progress we’ve made in the last year

Thanks to everyone who “came along” to our 2021 AGM on Zoom this week.

We had a fascinating evening, featuring really interesting talks about the history of the River Don between Club Mill Road and Wardsend Cemetery.

Our Trust chairman Simon Ogden, and Howard Bayley from Wardsend Cemetery, showed slides of how much the riverside has changed over the years.

As Simon said in the slide you can see above, this stretch of river is now “one of the city’s great hidden assets waiting to be reclaimed”.

That’s one of our overarching aims for the Upper Don Trail. We want rediscover a beautiful riverside running all the way from the city centre to the Peak District National Park!

We’ve made so much progress in the last year that we launched a new video at the AGM to tell you what we’ve been doing.

Huge thanks to our videographer Joey O’Connell of Hove and Co Photography for devoting so much time, love and care to the new film.

You’re a star Joey!

We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it…

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All welcome at our Upper Don Trail Trust Annual General Meeting

All welcome at our Upper Don Trail Trust Annual General Meeting

From a new active travel bridge at the heart of Kelham Island, to extended countryside bridleways on the edge of the Peak District! We’ve a year of exciting progress to report at the 2021 Upper Don Trail Trust annual general meeting.

The meeting will take place from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Monday, April 26th.

Sadly, the continuing Covid restrictions mean we will not be able to repeat last year’s convivial and well-attended get-together at Yellow Arch Studios.

Instead, the AGM will take place “virtually” on Zoom. But we still have a packed and varied agenda. We look forward to welcoming all who would like to attend.

It’s an open event although only members will be permitted to vote in the election of officers and trustees.

All you need to take part is the agenda, and a copy of the Zoom meeting link.

New video and illustrated history talk

We plan to launch a new video to update people on progress since last year.

And we’ll have a fascinating illustrated talk about the history of the riverside along Club Mill Road, between Neepsend and Wardsend Cemetery.

We’ll also report on a year of progress

Since last year, we’ve been involved in new initiatives all the way along the Trail from Lady’s Bridge and Kelham in the city centre right up to Langsett on the edge of the Peak District.

Upper Don Trail Trust chairman Simon Ogden is looking forward to reporting a year of progress.

‘We can now look forward to an Upper Don/Little Don Trail of nearly 23 km of which over 11 km is already in place, although some of that needs further  improvement,’ said Simon.

‘Construction of a further 9 km is committed with funding identified, leaving just 2.5 km of missing links.

‘So there’s lots going on. But we also need to make sure that all these separate initiatives come together and that the trail is then well sign-posted, promoted and of course maintained.

‘There is much more for the Trust to do – so why not join us?’

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Upper Don Trail Trust and Cycle Sheffield press for improved active travel routes near Hillsborough

Upper Don Trail Trust and Cycle Sheffield press for improved active travel routes near Hillsborough

The Upper Don Trail Trust and Cycle Sheffield have joined forces to press for radically improved active travel routes near Hillsborough football ground.

We’re urging Sheffield City Council planners to insist on segregated cycleways and safer road crossings as part of a new retail development.

Developers Jaguar Estates have submitted revised plans for a retail centre bordering Penistone Road and Herries Road.

They want to build a mixed-use scheme including shops, warehouses, restaurants, a builders merchants and car repair centre.

The scheme would regenerate a largely derelict triangle of land between Penistone Road, Herries Road and Herries Road South.

It replaces an earlier scheme that received planning permission last year.

The original planning approval required the developers to provide a Travel Plan that would “encourage and facilitate less car dependent living”.

But we and Cycle Sheffield argue the developers have failed to deliver on this. We’re now urging a much stronger commitment to sustainable and active travel.

We are also pressing for restoration and public access to a historic waterway (the Wardsend Goyt) and rundown woodland at the north end of the site.

Well-designed and segregated cycleways would improve the Penistone Road cycle route into the city centre, and would link to a new section of the Upper Don Trail now being planned from Herries Road to Hillfoot.

So, what do we want to happen next?

We have objected to the revised planning application unless the following improvements are incorporated as specific conditions:

  • The Penistone Road cycleway widened and segregated to a consistent five metres along the whole site frontage
  • The footway on the Herries Road frontage to be widened to a consistent five metre width to accommodate a segregated cycleway as part of the site restoration, not simply noted as a future “improvement line” for others to provide
  • The new vehicle accesses from the site to Penistone Road and Herries Road to be redesigned as continuous cycle-footways or ‘blended crossings’ which prioritise walking and cycling over exiting vehicles
  • The traffic lights at the Penistone Road/Herries Road South junction to be converted to a Toucan Crossing at the expense of the developer and as a condition of the use commencing
  • Details of how the woodland and mill goyt area is to be restored, what public access/amenity is to be provided and who is to be responsible for its ongoing management and funding should be provided before planning permission is granted not as an afterthought
  • The development will need to include enhanced car parking restrictions for this area.

What is our active travel message to the developers and the council?

Simon Ogden, chairman of Upper Don Trail Trust, said: “We welcome the regeneration of this long derelict site but much has changed in the world over the last year.

“Developers now need to adjust to the new normal of prioritising active travel such as walking and cycling. It’s no longer acceptable just to focus on car access.”

Dexter Johnstone, of Cycle Sheffield, said: “Sheffield City Council need to ensure this development enhances rather than degrades cycling and walking provision in the area which is already patchy.

“They can do this easily by applying conditions which require the development to meet modern active travel standards.

“It is vital that all new developments in our city are designed to enable more people to travel actively.”

The Jaguar Estates development site viewed along Penistone Road North
Cyclists on Penistone Road currently have to share the pavement with pedestrians. We are pressing for a properly segregated cycleway
The existing cycle route runs along the cluttered Penistone Road pavement. We would like to see a properly segregated cycleway built alongside it.
The Jaguar development site viewed from Herries Road
The development site viewed across Wardsend Goyt from Herries Road, with Hillsborough football ground behind. This litter-strewn verge could make way for a properly segregated cycleway
View of Wardsend Goyt and rundown woodland at the north end of the Jaguar development site
The historic Wardsend Goyt runs through littered and unloved woodland at the north end of the site. This could become a beautiful new public open space.
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