Doncaster Council accused of 'lack of focus' on air pollution-hit villages as bypass plans drag on

A campaign group has criticised Doncaster Council for ‘stalling’ on a business case for a bypass first planned more than 30 years ago.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 9:15 am
Lorries travelling through Hickleton

Villagers in both Hickleton and Marr are still awaiting the construction of a bypass first promised in the late 1980s. The busy A635 goes through both villages and is used mainly as a route connecting the M1 and the A1(M).

The Barnsley side of the A635 was completed many years ago but heavy HGV traffic has to navigate through narrow village roads which has resulted in dozens of collisions and Hickleton having some of the highest air pollution in the country.

The comments from the campaign chair comes after an announcement from South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis which outlined a raft of planned transport schemes in a bid to central government totalling £500 million.

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The A635 is mentioned in the plan but the Local Democracy Reporting Service understands this relates to the Barnsley end.

Back in 2019, all parties agreed to a HS2 station east of Goldthorpe in Barnsley which transport chiefs say is cheaper than the previous M18 Parkway station idea. Doncaster’s commitment on this was granted in return for the bypass but no updates have come since then.

Richard Clark, chair of Hickleton Bypass Action Group, said DMBC had ‘stalled’ on the progress of a £300,000 business case and called on all parties involved to come together in order to get the project started.

“Once again this demonstrates a total lack of focus by DMBC on the plight of Hickleton and Marr residents,” he said.

“None of the measures outlined will have any impact for us. Local Authorities in adjoining boroughs are investing heavily in improving roads and infrastructure bypassing villages to avoid the traffic bottlenecks, air pollution, noise and vibration that we suffer 24/7.

“For instance, BMBC have improved their section of A635 to support Goldthorpe master plan and the Hermes distribution centre. We have also just learned that Manchester is well on track with bypass plans around Mottram. All of these developments when they come to fruition will only make our situation much worse.

“We thought plans for a bypass were on the agenda again after DMBC led a £300,000 project to develop an outline business case for the bypass but since then it appears to have stalled.”

Doncaster Council did not respond when asked for a comment.

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