New road ends the ‘Cantley Crawl’

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones at the opening of the Great Yorkshire Way, FARRRS. Picture: Andrew Roe

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones at the opening of the Great Yorkshire Way, FARRRS. Picture: Andrew Roe

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Doncaster’s new airport link road has ‘ended the Cantley Crawl’, it has been claimed.

But the £56 million road, which opened on February 29 – a month ago this week, has already had to have its first pothole repaired, it has been confirmed.

The Great Yorkshire Way.

The Great Yorkshire Way.

Doncaster Council highways officials estimate journey times have been reduced by 20 minutes since the road opened and officials at the Doncaster Taxi Drivers’ Association confirm the figure matches their experiences.

Peter Dale, director of regeneration and environment at Doncaster Council, said: “The overwhelming response to the opening of Great Yorkshire Way has been positive with thousands of people benefiting from the new route every day.

“Journey times have reduced and congestion has been eased.

“The notorious ‘Cantley Crawl’ is now a thing of the past and of course the new road is helping to bring thousands of new jobs to Doncaster.”

The figures were backed by Andy Pownall, an official at the Doncaster Taxi Drivers’ Association.

He said: I have used the new road quite a few times now and it has proved to be a lot better than going by Bawtry Road if you are coming in from Rossington.

“I would say it has been a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes quicker.

“It has surprised me because I didn’t think it would have been as effective as it has been.”

But now it has emerged the first pothole in the road was needed little more than a week after the road opened.

A cyclist said he first noticed a pothole over the railway line, on the East Coast mainline bridge, on Saturday night.

He said he was travelling along the side of the road on his bike when he nearly came off because of debris from the pothole, which he said he could not see because of lack of lighting.

The cyclist said he was surprised to see the hole in such a new road.

Mr Dale confirmed repair work had needed to be carried out.

He said: “A very small, shallow defect in the road surface had been reported on the East Coast Mainline bridge and a temporary repair was quickly made.

“This has been a major engineering project and our contractor Carillion has identified an issue relating to one of the bridge’s expansion joints.

“It is not unusual to have some teething issues in relation to a project of this scale, but it is not a road safety issue and a permanent repair will be carried out in due course.

“It is standard practice not to light roads of this nature but lighting has been provided at the junctions.”

The new road was opened and named as Great Yorkshire Way on February 29 from the south of Doncaster to Junction 3 of the M18 after over a decade of planning and construction.

The three-mile long section that is now up and running is the first phase of the scheme.

The road is later due to also link Rossington directly to the M18’s junction three.

It was also predicted to significantly reduce journey times to Yorkshire’s Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, bringing an extra one million potential passengers to within a 60 minute drive. Flybe has already launched new routes from Doncaster on the back of the opening of the road.

Great Yorkshire Way is also predicted to trigger £1.7billion of private sector investment creating 20,000 new jobs and 5,000 new homes.

Work started in October 2013 and mountains were literally moved to complete the project. Six new bridges were built, including an impressive 12-metre high structure to carry the road over the East Coast Main Line with highway embankments built by re-using a million tonnes of material from the old colliery spoil heap.