Tuesday, March 16, 2021

News: Rotherham to push ahead with Clean Air Zone projects


Schemes designed to reduce pollution in Rotherham are being fast-tracked.

Rothbiz reported in 2017 that Rotherham (alongside Sheffield and Doncaster) was one of 38 English local authorities with one or more roads forecast persistently to exceed NO2 legal limits based on initial modelling. The local authorities were charged with coming up with local plans for reducing air pollution or risk the Government imposing schemes to charge users of congested roads like the Parkway.

Rotherham and Sheffield Council have been working together on coming up with measures to deliver air quality improvements as quickly as possible. The Sheffield authority said last year that further reviews of its proposed measures were required as the coronavirus pandemic has created a current situation that is "dramatically different" to the one in which the proposals were originally developed.

Rotherham is progressing its schemes after a letter of assurance was sought from the Joint Air Quality Unit, and is seeking to progress on schemes approved by Rotherham in the Outline Business Case submitted in December 2018 and consulted on in 2019. The Full Business Case is tied to a broader Clean Air Plan, which includes projects held jointly with Sheffield City Council.

Previous proposals showed that Sheffield would need to introduce a Category C (CAZ C) charging zone in order to achieve legal compliance by 2021.

Rotherham's proposed measures include a reduction in the speed limit on the Rotherham Gateway section of the Parkway, a one-way restriction of Heavy Goods traffic on Wortley Road, from Bradgate Park to Junction 35 of the M1, and improvements to the Bellows Road junction to enable the diversion of some buses from Rawmarsh Hill to Barbers Avenue.

The combined value for delivery is estimated at £2.885m with money coming via government grant funding.

The Sheffield Parkway 50mph speed limit is to be delivered as part of Parkway Widening work that recently got underway. The speed limit will be in place for the duration of these improvements and remain after they are completed.

The £42m 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.

The reduced speed limit is also required as a road safety measure, in light of the narrower lanes.

The Wortley Road restriction aims to redirect traffic to Junction 34 of the M1, removing traffic travelling uphill, where large good vehicles tend to produce more pollution. This also moves this traffic away from the area near people’s homes.

The improvements to Bellows Road will be made ahead of any proposed route change, which will be progressed following research and consultation on which services could be moved to benefit residents in the area.

Councillor Emma Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety said: “There is no need for us to wait around to tackle air pollution. By agreeing these schemes now, we can improve the quality of the air you breathe as soon as possible."

Councillor Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy said: “These schemes not only remove pollution, but also seek to improve public transport. They go hand-in-hand with the cycling strategy consultation we are also seeking to approve in this Cabinet.”

The proposals will be discussed at a Council meeting on March 22.

Images: Google Maps


Anonymous,  March 16, 2021 at 11:31 AM  

The bus service route changes from Rawmarsh Hill to Barbers Avenue, why? It's the same area, no more than 500yds from Rawmarsh Hill to Barbers Avenue at it's widest section, and will do more harm than good. Most shops and amenities are located on Broad Street and the bottom half of Rawmarsh Hill, not to add that the journey times will become longer and put people off using buses as they divert from main roads and travel around housing estates.

Graldhunter March 16, 2021 at 2:30 PM  

More "Save The Whale" nonsense and Anti-Car Claptrap from the Town Hall Towers nondescript. Just a thought, how do our Cllrs travel to Council Meetings? Is it by bus, barge, canal boat, lhama, hopscotch, piggyback or bus? Choose one answer only, lol ������

Anonymous,  March 16, 2021 at 10:51 PM  

Would hope they don't travel at all, and it's all done remotely!

Anonymous,  March 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM  

This is being driven (pardon the pun) by central government and councils have to come up with something or risk experts in Whitehall imposing something on us.

Ziggy,  March 17, 2021 at 12:37 PM  

So rather than "risk" having something imposed the Council dream up idiotic idea after idiotic idea that has no merit.

Anonymous,  March 24, 2021 at 4:59 PM  

I welcome the initiative to improve air quality. Far too many pull the council down on here but offer no viable alternative.

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