Wednesday, February 3, 2021

News: Work starts on Parkway improvement


Work is starting on the multi-million pound upgrade of the A630 which links Rotherham and Sheffield.

The final scheme, expected to finish in 2022, will create three lanes in each direction from the Catcliffe Junction to the junction with the M1 with modifications to the M1 J33 roundabout. Both the northbound and southbound slip roads from the M1 to junction 33 will be expanded to four lanes in consultation with Highways England.

A 50mph speed limit will also be introduced.

Rothbiz reported in October that £42m had finally been approved by the Government for the long-planned transport scheme.

The Council has been working alongside Balfour Beatty on the design of the A630 improvement scheme since early 2018 along with their strategic design partner WSP.

Business case documents state that: "The scheme will deliver essential capacity enhancements along a critical strategic transport corridor, complementing wider transport investment, whilst supporting economic growth in Rotherham and the wider SCR, including a significant contribution to GVA. Improvements to journey time reliability will be critical in maintaining an efficient highway network that can accommodate growth.

"The scheme will reduce the risk of traffic on the local highway network impeding flows on the national network, whilst also reducing the diversion of traffic from the A630 onto local roads, which causes localised congestion and severance and air quality and noise issues."

"The introduction of a reduction in speed limit on the A630 Parkway will contribute to fewer and less severe injury accidents, and improved driver legibility on the M1 Junction 33 roundabout will reduce the number of shunts, which currently cause additional delay and frustration."

The 50 mph speed limit feeds into Rotherham Council’s Clean Air Zone plans.

Cllr Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, said: “We can’t wait to see work get underway on the transformation of the Parkway. The road is vital in connecting Rotherham with Sheffield and links to the M1.

“The works will make a real difference to thousands of commuters’ journeys in the region every day and will also feed into our ongoing work to improve the air quality in the borough.”

Work will take place in six principal phases, incorporating the use of narrow running lanes to ensure traffic disruption is kept to a minimum:

Phase 1 – remove the existing safety barrier on A630 section, install new drainage and a road surface in the current central reservation
Phase 2 – work on the verge of A630 westbound carriageway, including construction of the retaining wall, new drainage, highway pavement, street lighting and safety barriers
Phase 3 – work begins on the M1 Junction 33 roundabout
Phase 4 – work on the verge of A630 eastbound carriageway, including construction of the retaining wall, new drainage, highway pavement, street lighting and safety barriers
Phase 5 – installation of new barrier in the central reservation of the A630
Phase 6 – final resurfacing on M1 J33 roundabout

The phase of works improving the M1 Junction 33 will run from the summer 2021 onwards.

The improvements, which are being funded through Central Government from the Local Growth Fund, also include new street lighting, carriageway surfaces and signs to improve safety for drivers. The scheme is designed to stay within the existing highway boundary to avoid impacting adjacent land and properties. Drainage will be improved to create resilience to flooding in consultation with the Environment Agency and will include sympathetic landscaping with new trees and hedgerows where appropriate.

Balfour Beatty said that it will utilise an expert local supply chain throughout project duration which will result in a significant use of small and medium enterprises within a 40-mile radius, providing employment opportunities including apprentice and graduate positions, ensuring the scheme leaves a lasting positive legacy for the local community.

Thomas Edgcumbe, Managing Director for Balfour Beatty’s Regional North and Midlands business, said: “We are proud to be delivering this significant scheme which, upon completion, will improve journey times and reduce congestion for the travelling public on this vital A-road. Through local SME spend, the scheme will also help to boost the economy in the Rotherham and Sheffield areas.”

Chris Jones, Head of Highways at WSP, said: “WSP has worked collaboratively alongside Balfour Beatty since 2018 on this important project so we’re delighted that Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has signalled it can proceed. By expanding the road from two lanes to three, the A630 Parkway improvement scheme will relieve congestion and boost connectivity between Rotherham and Sheffield, as well as support increased air quality in the local area.”

The Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and wider Innovation District which is expected to benefit from the works. The Sheffield Business Park is also expanding into Rotherham and the funding will ensure an improved infrastructure is in place to support these developments.

The project is due to start in February 2021 and expected to finish in the Autumn of 2022.

Rotherham Council website

Images: Google Maps


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