Tuesday, February 28, 2023

News: Further funding to finish Rotherham travel scheme following council u-turn


Funding looks set to be approved to complete a £9.74m active travel scheme in Rotherham. Changes are planned after initial designs to reduce traffic on Westgate "received significant local opposition."

Rothbiz has reported that a Rotherham Council scheme to connect the cycle route created through Templeborough to the town centre along Sheffield Road and Westgate was under review.

The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) is now being asked to sign off on a £8.6m grant to complete the scheme where costs have risen by 10%.

Using money from part of the Transforming Cities Fund, the first phase of the Rotherham to Tinsley scheme added cycle tracks along the A6178 between the borough boundary and the roundabout with Bessemer Way. Phase two will continue the cycle tracks to Centenary Way underpass.

Phase 3 is around "improved conditions for walking and cycling between Centenary Way and the town centre and will support wider town centre regeneration."

Meeting papers show that the consulted design to implement measures to reduce traffic on Westgate "received significant local opposition, particularly from businesses. This option was also based on pre-covid traffic counts and following consultation with Active Travel England it was agreed traffic reduction measures were unnecessary given the current traffic levels.

"Public consultation did not demonstrate support for the project with the majority of respondents expressing disapproval. Opposition to these elements mostly came from local businesses. However, it is highlighted that the contentious areas (reduced car capacity at Bradmarsh Way and traffic reduction measures around Westgate) are not included in the proposed scheme which was revised to take into account public feedback. Subsequent engagement on the scheme with these revisions indicated that this has addressed the material concerns of local businesses.

"The promoter has also noted that negative feedback from the public was often associated with a lack of support for active travel schemes generally rather than this scheme specifically."

The issue was discussed at a recent Rotherham Council meeting where Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, Cllr. Dominic Beck, explained that the Council did hear loud and clear the responses to the consultation and what had been said, adding that: "The new proposed scheme would be drastically different from that proposed in 2022. All of the banned turns that were proposed as part of the scheme would be scrapped and there were plans to enhance the parking offer for businesses on Westgate and their customers.

"I believe the new scheme will be a positive thing as there will be much more parking for customers of the businesses to use and there would be hundreds more people living in the area due to the Council funded housing developments. This has to be balanced against the need for the Council to create safe spaces for cyclists and pedestrians to access the town centre and it is believed that the new plans, once brought forward, would do those things."

Esh Construction has been chosen to deliver the scheme and the contract has been agreed.

In addition to the active travel scheme, £7.5m has been earmarked from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS) for Ickles Roundabout where new junctions are proposed with bus priority and improved pedestrian and cycle crossings. The aim is to deliver "bus passenger journey time savings, improved bus journey reliability, better walking & cycling journey ambiance and mode shift."

Images: Google Maps / RMBC


Anonymous,  March 2, 2023 at 1:54 PM  

I was pleased they kicked the original plans into touch. But why o why is RMBC seemingly hell bent on building cycling lanes when the roads across the borough are in such poor condition?

Anonymous,  March 10, 2023 at 11:45 PM  

Probably because they are funded from different pots. Additional external funding was available to build cycle lanes but there was no additional money for road repairs. What sometimes seems to be a waste of local money often isn't. The government may make money available to local authorities for specific purposes. They either apply for it or they don't a nd are reluctant to look a gift horse in the mouth even though there may be more urgent prorities

Anonymous,  April 3, 2023 at 2:35 PM  

If you look at it from the opposite angle, perhaps the roads are in poor condition because of the sheer tonnage of vehicles using them on a daily basis. I wonder if they'd deteriorate as fast if half of our single-commuter car journeys found a way to safely switch to cycling?

Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP