Monday, April 9, 2018

News: New major road through Rotherham?

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A new dual carriageway through the Rotherham borough is being looked at by a Sub-national Transport Body as a way of boosting the economy by improving the east-west connectivity across the North of England.

The proposed route would connect the M1 at Tankersley with the M18 at Micklebring.

It is being assessed by Transport for the North (TfN), which brings together representatives from across the North, as part of a wider study into a Trans Pennine Tunnel and reducing the journey time between Manchester and Sheffield.

As reported by Rothbiz in January, TfN is leading on developing alternative options after a long tunnel under the Peak District National Park was considered to be technically feasible but would have a cost that would be prohibitive and offer poor value for money.

Minutes for a recent meeting of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership confirms that: "TfN are about to commission the next stage of design work to further examine the "alternative" options which will involve a shorter (4-6 mile) tunnel, together with additional A616/628 upgrades and a new dual carriageway linking the M1 at J35a to the A1."

TfN studies have shown that the number, capacity, reliability and resilience of east-west road connections are seen as a constraint on the Northern economy. 40% of respondents in one of its surveys reported that they experienced problems, mainly congestion and queuing, on South Pennine routes.

Identifying its priorities around major roads, TfN picked out a broad corridor between the M1 potential interface with a trans-Pennine tunnel corridor (around J35 and J35a is the current favourite) and the M18 and M180 in the east, with onward connections to the Ports of Hull, Immingham and Grimsby. It said that improvements would provide long term connectivity and a "missing link" offering a viable alternative to the busy M62.

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Any new road starting from the M1 at J35 or J35a would need to cross the rail line between Chapletown and Elsecar and pass close to the villages of Harley and Wentworth, including the Grade I listed Wentworth Woodhouse and its follies such as Hoober Stand and The Needle's Eye.

Heading east, the road could pass between Rawmarsh and Swinton before crossing the busy A633, the rail line and River Don at Kilnhurst, before avoiding the golf club and reservoir at Thrybergh. Crossing the A630 around Hooton Roberts and joining the M18 somewhere between Micklebring and Clifton, the route would also have to contend with the proposed HS2 line which is also set to travel North-South alongside the M1 and M18.

Another proposed route could travel south of Wentworth between Greasbrough and Upper Haugh but would need to cross through the busy Parkgate and Rawmarsh area and the key specialist steelworks at Aldwarke.

A stage 1 report on wider transport connectivity around the trans-Pennine tunnel also includes a proposed intervention for a "new strategic link between M1 north of Rotherham and the A1(M)/M18, west and south of Doncaster respectively.

The study is aimed at identifying if additional transport investment could extend the benefits of the tunnel across a much wider area. It states: "Initial traffic forecasts indicate a significant level of traffic travelling south along the M18 and then north along the M1 to access the Tunnel. Such a route [the new dual carriageway] would cater for this traffic and provide improved connectivity via the Tunnel between Humber Ports and Greater Manchester, as well as to Doncaster-Sheffield Airport.

"It would also provide a direct link to the A1(M) for north-south freight traffic from the North West. This route would take traffic off the M18 and M1 between Doncaster and the Tunnel, along a route up to 15km shorter than the current route via the M1 and M18 and provide a significant benefit to freight traffic.

"This route would also lead to a reduction in the level on traffic increase on the M1 north of Junction 32 and this may avoid the need for a more substantial capacity improvement on the M1."

A second alternative option is also being looked at, a more northerly route providing a new strategic link between the M1 north of Barnsley and the A1 north of Doncaster, with an option to extend to the M18/M180 junction.

TfN website

Images: TfN

8 comments:

Rob Foulds April 9, 2018 at 3:23 PM  

Which prat thought of this bright idea - a new dual carriageway that cuts the corner off the M1/M18 route and reduces the journey by a whole 4 miles. Oh, and slices through Rawmarsh and other areas that can well do without the attentions of these blue-sky thinking, salary surfin, thumb twiddlers at the Sub-national Transport Body - whatever that is.

Anonymous,  April 9, 2018 at 8:06 PM  

Agreed the issue lies with the passes over the pennines and not the M1/M18 as their are plenty of routes to navigate avoiding the motorways if you really want to.

Anonymous,  April 9, 2018 at 8:46 PM  

Totally agree! I thought there was a shortage of money! A crazy waste of money!

Anonymous,  April 10, 2018 at 9:03 AM  

A lot of nice green belt land destroyed.
For what.

Anonymous,  April 11, 2018 at 10:48 AM  

Agree,not required.Like HS2 and other large projects,think much of push for them is to create work for many 1000s of construction workers.

Anonymous,  April 12, 2018 at 10:52 AM  

The sort of thing that the A6195 could have done if it wasn't designed like a dog's breakfast.

Anonymous,  April 15, 2018 at 2:49 PM  

More public money going down the drain I see. Hopefully lessons will be learnt from the HS2 debacle.

Anonymous,  April 18, 2018 at 8:11 PM  

This includes dualling the A616 Stocksbridge bypass - it would have been much more cost effective to have built it that way in the 1980s.
I'm torn between the effect on the green belt and the badly-needed alternative to the narrow and winding B6090 with its poor link to the A616 at Chapeltown.

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