In 2017, the council said they were “playing hardball” in making IKEA and Meadowhall pay £30 million for the road changes needed to handle the increased traffic they would generate. IKEA were also due to pay more than £400,000 for sustainable travel improvements.

Dexter Johnstone got tired of waiting for the IKEA cycle improvements.

Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport, eventually replied to the enquiries Dexter made on behalf of Cycle Sheffield. “The wording of condition 2 is less than ideal and leaves room for manoeuvre on the improvements that the developer had to provide. The general consensus is that it would be difficult to enforce it due to its lack of clarity and also as the construction works finished some time ago.”

Cycle Sheffield consistently presents detailed information to the council to ensure transport plans are cycle friendly, based on feedback from their many members riding in Sheffield every day. But we continue to see road scheme planning focused on cars with other forms of transport an afterthought. This is why the key deterrent for cycling in Sheffield in 2019 is that people simply don’t feel safe on our roads.

The council states that changes to the planning process will ensure this won’t happen again.

Dexter Johnstone now advises: “There won’t be any cycle infrastructure delivered as part of the Ikea development and the development itself has obstructed planned cycle routes in the area.” This is appalling for a massive development creating serious air pollution and public health issues.

Sheffielders urgently need better public transport and safer cycling and walking options so they can choose to leave their cars at home. This would reduce congestion for all road users while improving dangerous air pollution and road safety. This costly IKEA farce provides further evidence of council incompetence and is simply unacceptable.

Eamonn Ward
Sheffield Green Party


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