Sustrans Sheffield

Activities of the Sheffield Sustrans Ranger group.

About the Network in Sheffield and Volunteering

The National Cycle Network is a walking network that you can also cycle on. It consists of approximately 12,000 miles of signed route, one-third of which is off-road either on converted disused railways or specially designed routes. It provides leisurely rural routes which require a minimum of effort to follow, and traffic-free or traffic-calmed routes in urban areas that can provide spinal routes for commuters, shoppers, or leisure cyclists seeking to avoid the stress of the general road network.

Sheffield has approximately 17 miles of National Cycle Network, much of which is also part of the Trans -Pennine Trail. The Network enters Sheffield from the north at Grenoside, from where it swoops down through Parson Cross, skirting around Ecclesfield, to join the Chapeltown Greenway (which doesn't yet get to Chapeltown although this route is under development) with a route choice at this point to take you towards Wentworth and on to Leeds and York. 

This will take you down to Meadowhall, where people sometimes get confused - the onward route from the station is a bit convoluted and involves heading for the Park and Ride leaving at the Barrow Rd entrance, turn right , right again, under the train/tram bridge, cross three dual carriageways by the Sainsburys garage, go along the pavement for a bit, do a U-turn and head under the road bridge by the river and you are on the Five Weirs Walk. Walking your bike across the bridge at the Interchange is a reasonable alternative!

You can take to the South Yorkshire Navigation towards Rotherham or join the Five Weirs Walk towards the City Centre alongside the River Don, currently our flagship section including the spectacular Bailey and Cobweb bridges.

The Trans-Pennine Trail splits off at Centretainment to head up towards Sheffield's (closed) Airport, looping around through Bowden Howsteads ancient woodland to join the NCN again at Mosborough Parkway. The City Centre link has come up from Victoria Wharf via Manor Way and Waltheof, along the side of the Parkway, to reach this point. The combined routes then head for Beighton and Rother Valley Country Park, where route 6 heads for Worksop, Clumber Park and Nottingham, whilst route 67 follows the valley down to the TPT terminus at Chesterfield.

There are two further routes under development: 

The North Don Trail, which links Oughtibridge to the City Centre by a direct, level route and will eventually provide a link to the TPT in Wharncliffe Woods . 

The Chapeltown Greenway will eventually link through from Meadowhall, via Chapeltown to Tankersley, providing an alternative route to the Barnsley area.

A more recent addition to the network is the NCN6 route  linking Sheffield and Manchester via the Hope Valley.

No-one would claim that the Network is perfect in the Sheffield area, although big improvements have been made since it was first installed as part of the Millenium celebrations. It passes through some of the most deprived areas in the city and the main problems are general litter, broken glass, fly-tipping, vandalism, and off-road motorcycling. Unusual climate events also have an impact.

The council has not provided a maintenance regime for the network, so all work that goes on is re-active - reliant on people reporting problems.

There are about 20 rangers looking after the Network in the area. We are always looking for additional rangers to help us take on the massive task of looking after the network in the area. We occasionally organise clean-up sessions on some of the worst affected areas.

Helping out on a Sustrans cleanup

Volunteer Rangers help in many ways - firstly by maintaining a presence on the Network, that reassures users and deters potential abusers. The minimum requirement is to ride or walk your section of route once a month and note & report problems - how hard is that? 

What you don't have to do, and indeed are actively discouraged from doing, is confront anyone you see involved in anti-social behaviour. If you feel inspired to do a bit of litter-picking or maintenance work, however, we will support you in every way we can.

We maintain links with Streets Ahead, the police and the city council to try to resolve these problems. As well as being a network ranger, you can be an "office ranger" and help us liaise with the council and other organisations who are interested in developing the Network, get involved with community engagement to encourage local people to make use of it or just 
help us with the administrative tasks involved with keeping up the Network.

The Sustrans Liaison Ranger for Sheffield is Simon Geller  - we currently have a vacancy for a Liaison Ranger in the North Sheffield area and we are looking for people with expertise in the following areas:- 

  • Bio-Diversity - putting up bird boxes etc. 
  • Route development
  • Community involvement
  • Setting up a community payback scheme. 
  • Liaison with Sheffield City Council & other statutory bodies.
If you would like to become a volunteer please complete the form on the
Reports from Sustrans Rangers in the area will be posted on this blog.

We use FixMyStreet to report problems when we're out and about. 

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