Letters, February 3, 2011

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I AM compelled to email you regarding the current farcical situation with traffic chaos in and around Doncaster this month due to various ill-timed roadworks.

As general manager of Perrys Doncaster I am most concerned of the impact that traffic congestion is having both on my business and other businesses in the area and of the increase in pollution caused by greatly extended journey times, notwithstanding the damage to employers due to staff continually arriving late for work. I know of some journey to work times quadrupling.

Our parts delivery business is badly affected causing us to lose business in outlying areas. Customers are reluctant to come into Doncaster due to the disruption.

Doncaster businesses and motorists are getting frustrated and angry at the lack of any apparent forethought in the planning of these works.

Why have the council permitted the various bodies to commence repairs simultaneously on long term works at Balby Road, Barnby Dun swing bridge and Bentley Road to name but three schemes?

There are also plenty more roadworks that add to the chaos, I counted 27 listed in this week’s Free Press. Add to these problem areas the fact that the M18 has long term lane and speed restrictions and we have a recipe for disaster.

Motorists are being forced to find alternative routes around the town resulting in gridlock everywhere.

This must be a concern to the council in these testing economic times when some businesses are fighting for their very survival.

Who is responsible for this mess and what are the council going to do to improve the situation?

Stephen Eyre, General Manager, Perrys

I’m amazed and disgusted

I FELT I must email and show my utter disgust at the current state of Doncaster’s roads and its so-called roadworks.

Firstly the A630 – I live on Woodfield Plantation and my daughter lives in Doncaster, and I travel to work joining the A1 at J36 to travel north.

So imagine my utter amazement when I saw the big yellow sign at the top of Sandford Road A630 roadworks Phase 1.

If this is phase 1 can the council explain what phase the constant roadworks between J36 and the Balby flyover were?

I recall one Sunday last year where it was impossible to get onto the A630 due to roadworks so, wanting to get to Balby, I turned round intending to travel via Wadworth, Tickhill and Rossington.

No such luck – the A60 was closed between Wadworth and Tickhill for... guess what? Roadworks.

So a 20-minute journey took me one hour and 15 minutes.

Travelling home down the A1 to get to Bessacarr I decided to stop on the A1 and get onto the M18 and exit at the Yorkshire Outlet.

As I pulled onto the slip road for the A1/M18 guess what I saw? Another sign saying this road is to be closed for God knows how long.

I know if I sent this email to the council I would get the corporate standard reply but I’m hoping you can do better.

The council needs to desperately rethink the misery on Balby Road.

It is adding one hour to commuter times and I personally feel this is an utter disgrace.

Tony Shand, Woodfield Plantation

Cones but no roadworks!

TRAFFIC cones have been installed around the roundabout adjacent to Lakeside Village – a major route in and out of Doncaster.

There have been no actual roadworks taking place and it looks like a trial of some sort to ease traffic coming out of Doncaster onto the M18.

I have never witnessed such major issues around this area caused by this placing of cones which diverts traffic coming from the M18 up White Rose Way to the round-about adjacent to the Renault dealership.

It now takes me nearly 30 minutes to get to my home in Lakeside – a distance of approximately one mile – where only a week or so ago it only took two minutes.

What the council have done causes gridlock on every route in and out of the Lakeside area including Stadium Way.

Traffic cannot move down White Rose Way, and it cannot get out of Lakeside, so that traffic coming down Stadium Way then gets gridlocked at the roundabout adjacent to Premier Inn, thus no one can get into Lakeside.

I have never seen such poor traffic management.

Great, another under-utilised bus lane to look forward to, though.

Richard England, Lakeside

Journey home is so much longer

I WORK in the old plant works in Hexthorpe.

It is a task at the best of times getting from there to the main roundabout near the flats due to the said roundabout being completely at a standstill due to traffic blocking the roundabout off because the route past the railway station is virtually always at a standstill at 4pm-5pm.

As a result, the traffic backs up to the set of traffic lights opposite the Corporation Taps public house and, as ever, traffic coming down Balby Road completely blocks the junction so no one can get out from Hexthorpe at that junction.

I wish the planners at Doncaster Council could see the sense in erecting traffic lights at this roundabout so that the traffic heading past the train station is unable to hog the roundabout to the detriment of everyone else.

The roadworks on Balby Road have compounded this problem and forced more traffic onto the road leading from White Rose Way onto this roundabout.

The net result, a three to four minute journey from work to the said roundabout can now easily take 30 minutes.

But hey, the roadworks are necessary, we are told.

Really... I and many other motorists trying to get to and from our place of work find it very hard to justify this misery for potentially so little return.

David Gibbs, Dunsville

Why do all this work at once?

WITH reference to the roadworks on Balby Road, it also affects other outbound routes as drivers try to find an alternative route. It has been taking me an hour to get home from Armthorpe to Cusworth every evening, a journey that normally takes 20-30 minutes. There are also works on Bentley Road (A19) and the road from Barnby Dun to Arksey has been closed too. Wouldn’t it be better to stagger these works rather than do them all at once?

Steve Hodson, Charnock Drive, Cusworth

Listen to the commuters

AS a daily commuter to Doncaster from Sheffield I am used to delays getting into Doncaster.

The first obstacle leaving the M18 towards the Lakeside is the fact that the bridge over the train tracks is single file, yet the roads leading to it are dual carriageway.

The council sought the opinions of commuters using this road 5-8 years ago and gave options of solutions to the problem. Still nothing has been done apart from further development of the surrounding area thus leading to more and more traffic including HGVs.

The roundabout at Lakeside has now had a diversion put on it but for no apparent reason – there are no roadworks. I contacted the council on Monday to find out what was happening there.

Apparently the police have requested it to prevent an accident occurring on the motorway whilst the roadworks are under way on Balby Road and people find alternative routes.

This has resulted in what used to be a two to three minute drive from the office I work in to the Lakeside roundabout now taking anything up to an hour.

From 4pm onwards the roads along White Rose Way are gridlocked in every direction. This isn’t helped by those drivers who insist on driving in the left hand side lane on White Rose Way and then cutting in on the roundabout to get to the M18 to avoid the queues – maybe the council should do something about this too. Basically, you just cannot move anywhere in Doncaster at the moment; a helicopter could come in handy.

Angela Duke

Separated by motorways

THERE is no joined up thinking at all. People like myself who travel from Rotherham or Sheffield to get to work every day have no way of avoiding the chaos. The M18 has roadworks and so does the Balby Corridor, adding an extra two hours each day to my journey time. One of these major projects should be suspended until the other is finished, it’s not rocket science.

Julie Cox

Family life being hit by delays

OK, what should take 20 minutes to get to Hatfield from Doncaster has now more than doubled, making my daughter’s bedtime considerably late. Leaving Doncaster at 5.30pm trying to get to the M18 (hell) on the M18 (road works, hell), picking my daughter up in Hatfield (roads closed, hell). Need I say more?

Mrs Taylor, Hatfield

It’s all right for the mayor

AT 5pm every weekday I have to travel from Bentley to Balby Road and then home to Armthorpe, thus hitting two of the five major roadworks currently going on in Doncaster.

Needless to say it is a nightmare. Surely this could have been planned better. I gather that the Balby Road project will be the same as the Cantley lights one of two years ago (of which I had to also endure) where the only result of all the disruption is a bus lane that may be good for buses but is no help whatsoever for cars.

We are already paying more for our fuel and in these tough times the last thing we want is to be filling up more then usual because we are burning up fuel whilst stood still in major traffic. I guess nothing really surprises me with Doncaster Council but I am annoyed with the mayor’s comments in the Free Press that he did not endure any traffic from his house in Bessacarr.

So there is not a problem then, mayor, is there? I do hope he has to make an emergency call to the far end of Balby Road one evening at 5pm.

Paul Dove, Kenilworth, Warwicks.

Even London is better to drive in

I WOULD like to vent my spleen and express my anger and frustration at the seemingly unco-ordinated sets of disruptive roadworks, particularly by the gas board, all round the town this last two weeks.

We all know that roadworks need doing (although I’d have thought it as much a priority, if not more so, to get the hazardous potholes repaired first) but it’s as though, once the wintry weather subsided, the Gas Board decided that it would do all its roadworks in one go. And now we’re threatened with 85 more sets in the locality over the next few weeks!

I have to travel to work from North Doncaster to Balby every day in the rush hour and it is taking me an hour or more to do the trip, whether I go via Barnsley Road and up the A1(M) (where there was a dangerous queue on the carriageway to get onto the slip road the other morning) and then along Balby Road, or Bentley Road (A19 – temporary traffic lights at roadworks), or up Jossey Lane/York Road – new roadworks and temporary traffic lights this week; the situation is the same – a veritable car park.

At least when I lived in London, you could get into the centre by travelling over another bridge if one bridge was blocked. It’s absolutely horrendous. All my colleagues, wherever they’re travelling in from, are finding it difficult to get to work on time.

I am only glad to say that my job will be moving to Rotherham in three weeks and not before time.

Yvonne Jones