Tuesday, June 16, 2015

News: Bid in for FARRRS phase 2 funding


£9.1m is set to be made available to complete the important Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme (FARRRS) that is creating a new link road to Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield.

The new link road currently under construction is of huge importance. The £56m first phase of the FARRRS project, with £18m from the Government's Regional Growth Fund and money from airport owners and significant land-holders, Peel, and developers such as Harworth Estates, is estimated to result in £1 billion of further investment and 14,000 jobs by providing a new highway from the M18 at junction 3 to Bawtry Road close to the airport, with links into Rossington village and the iPort development.

It is set to slash journey times from Sheffield city centre to the airport to 25 minutes.

The road will become operational in early 2016 and plans are already being finalised for a second phase that will see FARRRS extended from Bawtry Road to Hurst Lane where it will meet up with the existing airport access road.

A business case has been submitted to secure £9.1m from the Sheffield city region investment fund for strategic infrastructure investment (SCRIF). SCRIF is a framework of funding streams to deliver essential strategic infrastructure to increase economic growth and jobs in Sheffield city region.

Doncaster Council is leading the project and is set to put forward the remaining £1.455m of the estimated costs needed to complete the road.

Subject to providing additional information and reassurances, members of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority are being recommended to progress the business case for FARRRS 2 so that the £9.1m can be used to complete the road.

Authority papers state: "On the basis of the evidence in both the Full Business Case and the supporting Economic Impact Study, there appears to be a strong and broad-ranging strategic case for the project, which strongly supports Sheffield City Region economic growth objectives.

"It is evident that in principle the completion of the entire FARRRS route from Junction 3 of the M18 to RHADS is crucial to support the proposed growth in economic activity at the airport and on nearby employment sites."

Doncaster Council hope that construction will start in early 2016 when the first phase of FARRRS is due to be complete and open.

Official figures show a 9.1% rise in passengers over the last twelve months to March 2015 at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, making it the fastest growing airport in the North of England. For the first quarter of 2015, passenger figures were up by 30% and cargo numbers are also up by 149% in the financial year.

Chris Harcombe, head of aviation development at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: "New routes to Zante, Kosice and Lubin all start this year as well as our recently launched Aer Lingus route to Dublin which offers onward connectivity to America and Canada.

"Looking ahead we are forecasting further strong growth over the next 12 months and have already announced two new routes to Heraklion and Larnaca for 2016 when passengers can enjoy the convenience of the new motorway link road cutting journey times to the airport by 15 minutes.

"The FARRRS link road is a £56m road infrastructure project backed by public and private sector funding to transform the airport's catchment area, bringing another half a million people within a 30 minute drive of the airport."

Robin Hood Airport website

Images: Harworth Estates

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