Action on long awaited bypass for villagers
Campaigners have welcomed an announcement that could finally see a long-awaited end to a promised bypass in Doncaster.
Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis has said he will work with both Doncaster and Barnsley councils to draw up a business case for building a bypass that would take traffic away from the villages of Hickleton and Marr.
Residents living in the villages were told a bypass would be built around the settlements in the 1980s as part of a wider plan to connect the M1 and the A1.
The Dearne Valley Parkway section was constructed on the Barnsley side but the scheme was kicked into the long grass by Doncaster Council.
Campaigners said Barnsley Council made it a priority due to the increasing business growth and rengeration of the Dearne Valley but added Doncaster Council saw ‘no economic payback’ in building the bypass.
Figures show that section of the A635 is used by around 21,000 vehicles per day, 12 per cent of which are HGVs on a single lane carraigeway.
Residents in the villages have reported several crashes on the Doncaster stretch and the area has some of the worst air pollution in the country.
Responding to campaigners in November 2018, Doncaster mayor Ros Jones said the bypass ‘would not be seriously considered in the near or medium term’ and cited costs of around £40 million with ‘no identified developer contribution’.
But the issue has been taken up by Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband and now Mayor Jarvis has written to Transport for the North boss John Cridland and said he will be making a case to Government.
Richard Clark who is the chair of the Hickleton Bypass Action Group said residents were ‘quietly elated’ at the news but added they would not let this issue lie.
“This is great news even for those in power to recognise this is a problem. This isn’t just a Doncaster problem, this is a South Yorkshire problem and Barnsley will see a massive benefit economically.
“Ed Miliband was out recently and he was appalled at what he saw with all the traffic and pollutiion.
“What I cautious about is that we slip down the queue again where we did before. This has to be more than an economic case because we are only two small villages with no major employment centres.
“We’re struggling massively with pollution and it will affect generations to come if we don’t sort this.
“What we want to see now is a sensible timeframe to get this thing built.”
Mayor Jarvis said: "After 30 years on the drawing board, I'm delighted that I've moved the Hickleton/Marr bypass a step closer to being realised.
"I believe it's critical that, working with partners in South Yorkshire and across the north, we find a solution to deliver this important link road.
“A bypass would be great news for residents of these villages, for businesses in the area, and for all of us who want to see improvements to South Yorkshire's transport network.
"While there is still a lot of work to do, this is undoubtedly an important day for all those who have campaigned on this issue for decades."
Doncaster mayor Ros Jones said the council will continue to push for the bypass.
She said: "Air Quality concerns have been raised by residents and these continue to be monitored by Doncaster Council. I will be pushing for this scheme with Mayor Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region and Barnsley Council to get the best scheme possible, delivered for the borough as soon as we possibly can.”