After first being mooted three decades ago, proposals for a bypass to ease congestion on the busy A635 in South Yorkshire have moved a step closer to reality, after receiving the backing of Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region.
City Region transport experts are now working with officials at Doncaster and Barnsley councils to draw up a strategic outline business case for building a bypass that would take traffic away from the villages of Hickleton and Marr.
This comes after a high-profile campaign from residents, who have complained of heavy congestion, air pollution and road safety issues due to the volume of traffic passing through the villages. Figures show that section of the A635 is used by around 21,000 vehicles per day, 12% of which are HGVs.
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’ve written to John Cridland from Transport for the North to highlight the importance of the proposals; I will be making the case with Government, and my team will soon be starting on the business case with our local authority partners.
“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.”
Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “A bypass for Hickleton and Marr is much needed and something that the council has put forward as a major scheme for several years and I will continue to push for, as I would like to see this scheme become a reality.
“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.”
Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “We’re already seeing the benefits of opening up areas of the Dearne Valley, including improved roads into our borough and the building of new homes and business parks for businesses to relocate and thrive.
“However, we do recognise the high impact volumes of traffic are having on residents living in Hickleton and the surrounding areas.
“We’re working closely with our partners across South Yorkshire and Transport for the North to help Doncaster in their efforts to address the issue, while at the same time looking at the future of the Dearne Valley area so we can get the best outcomes for our residents and businesses.”
Work on the strategic outline business case (SOBC) will begin in the coming weeks.