Tuesday, May 23, 2017

News: Parkway journey "one of UK's most congested routes"

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A study of roads across 13 cities reveals that a rush hour trip down the congested Parkway from Rotherham to Sheffield is adding hours to the journeys of commuters.

The study has been carried out by insurance firm, Admiral and highlights that drivers spend an average of ten extra days sitting in their cars over the course of a year due to congestion.

Comparing the travel time of various routes into the centres of 13 major cities, the study looked at a 9am arrival on a Monday, one of the busiest times to be driving, and 9am on a Sunday, when the roads are at their quietest. A central landmark in each city was given as the destination.

The figures reveal the full picture of congestion across the country, uncovering the amount of hours drivers lose as they make their way to work.

A journey from Rotherham to Sheffield Town Hall takes 14 minutes on a Sunday, but this rises to 40 minutes on a Monday morning, highlighting the time spent stuck in traffic. With a % increase in driving time during rush hour of 185%, the important route is placed 7th behind routes in London, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool.

Sheffield Parkway is one of the busiest routes into the city and is used by more than 50,000 vehicles every day. Around 63,750 workers commuted into Sheffield for work in 2011, primarily coming from the adjoining authorities of Rotherham (10%), North East Derbyshire (4%), Barnsley (4%) and Doncaster (2%).

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By comparison, the journey from Barnsley to Sheffield Town Hall, experiences an 85% increase in drive time from 35 minutes on a Sunday to 65 minutes on a Monday morning. This is considered the 6th least congested route in the study behind routes in Newcastle, Nottingham, Liverpool and Leeds.

Jo Cox, motor product manager at Admiral said: "These figures confirm what motorists have long suspected – that they spend a huge amount of wasted time sitting in their cars. You are more likely to be involved in an accident where you bump the car in front during rush hour than at any time of the day. These rear end bumps are the most common type too.

These local delays on the Parkway are nothing new, and the congested routes are earmarking for multimillion pound improvements.

£1.4m was secured from the Department for Transport (DfT) to develop plans for the Sheffield City Region Innovation Corridor - a scheme for new road infrastructure between Sheffield and Rotherham around the M1 focusing on the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) and improving access to Waverley, the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and Sheffield Business Park.

Work has taken place to widen exit slip roads and roundabouts at Junction 33 and Rotherham's capital strategy includes a £45m plan to widen the Parkway to three lanes between the M1 and Catcliffe.

The Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Investment Plan identified the need to tackle delays on A630, A633, A57, A6178 and at M1 J34 with an explicit need to widen the Parkway.

The plan also highlights the need to "reduce forecast delay impact" on the A630 and A6178. It states that there is potential for a bus rapid transit (BRT) or light rail solution to achieve this.



Images: Harworth Group


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