Thursday, June 22, 2023

News: £3.6m Rotherham transport scheme progresses


Rotherham Council is urging people to continue to use the local businesses in an area of town where the creation of new active travel schemes is causing disruption.

At Wellgate and Broom Road a £3.6m scheme sees Rotherham Council introducing 1.4km of dedicated cycle tracks on Wellgate between Hollowgate and Boswell Street, along with three new signalised junctions, one new road crossing, two improved road crossings and associated connecting works.

During works, which began in April, there will be traffic management closures on Broom Road for approximately 25 weeks, Wellgate for approximately 25 weeks and Clifton Roundabout for approximately 14 weeks.

Esh Construction secured the contract for the works.

Cllr. Dominic Beck, Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment at Rotherham Council, said: "We are delivering a significant investment of £3.6m to improve accessibility to Rotherham town centre.

"We do have a one-way system in operation on Wellgate at the moment to ensure that we can keep the workers safe who are delivering this scheme but our message is quite clear from the council - local businesses are still open and you can still get to these local businesses.

"We do have very short, effective diversions in place, Wellgate multi-storey [car park] is still open, and the small car park next to the multi-storey, and so we want people to continue to come to the town centre to use and support these local businesses."

The funding for the scheme was secured by the council through the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) Active Travel Fund (ATF), Gainshare and the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS). The rationale for the scheme is to encourage a mode shift away from private car use and to enable cycling in an area identified as a priority in the Rotherham Cycling Strategy.

Clifton Roundabout, along with its approaches, is being narrowed to a single lane to control vehicle speeds, provide space for cycle tracks, separate from traffic and pedestrians, all the way around, and improve the refuge areas for pedestrians and cyclists crossing each arm of the roundabout.

The proposals mean that the current bus lane on Broom Road would end before the roundabout where two lanes will merge into one, with the cycle track alongside. The existing westbound bus lane will be kept, and goods vehicles will be newly allowed to use the bus lane.

Clrr. Beck added: "One aspect of the scheme is that, once delivered, and part of other schemes already being delivered or in development, is that there will be a continuous cycle route all the way from Sheffield, into Rotherham town centre, and out to Wickersley as well, to help create a really safe environment for people to come and go from the town centre, either by cycling, walking or indeed if you are a motorist.

"We are going to have improved signalised junctions, there'll be improved crossing spaces for pedestrians, and in the end, everyone will benefit from this scheme.

"Whilst we do have these short term disruptions in place around the one-ways and diversions, please use them ... and continue to use local businesses."

£8.6m of funding has also been secured by the council from the SYMCA for the £9.74m Sheffield Road Cycleways scheme which aims to support affordable and environmentally friendly travel with new segregated cycle tracks extending the existing route from the Sheffield boundary near to the Magna Science Adventure Centre at Templeborough, through to Rotherham town centre.

With Westgate set to incorporate 2 metre-wide advisory cycle lanes on either side with a single carriageway down the middle, construction will take place in two phases, starting in the spring and expected to last for 15 months.

Images: RMBC


Anonymous,  June 22, 2023 at 2:38 PM  

How much are the current cycles lanes to\from the Town Centre used? Almost never!
If nothing else the 'improvements' may generate more trade (from cyclists' families) for the local undertakers.

Anonymous,  June 22, 2023 at 2:46 PM  

There is no doubt in my mind that this scheme, the massive disruption it is currently causing, and of course long term inconvenience it will cause once the messing about with Clifton roundabout is completed will do nothing to encourage people to visit Rotherham town centre.

In reality it will stop people visiting. Why would they come to Rotherham, when its quite clear RMBC doesn't want cars or anything other than pedestrians and cyclists in the town centre?

I'm sure in time the council will give itself a massive pat on the back by reducing the number of vehicles entering the town centre. But then wonder why businesses are closing, footfall is down and no-one is visiting Forge Island)

The only thing that should be getting on their bike is the planning numpties who thought this badly thought out scheme was a good idea.

Meanwhile, the town centre continues to die.

Anonymous,  September 20, 2023 at 1:48 PM  

The endless road works associated with this madcap scheme have been an unmitigated disaster. What we are looking at here is the inconveniencing of literally thousands of people just so the Council can tick a green box somewhere and maybe a handful of cyclists a day can travel up and down the Broom. It took me over an hour on Monday to get into town during the morning rush hour with traffic queuing back from Clifton Lane roundabout all the way back to the Homestead. I was on a bus packed to the gills with people who were all going to be late for school, college and work, totally stressed out. The article does not do justice to the incompetence of this scheme, it seems to having been going on for ever. The road down into Wellgate has been closed now for well over 12 months. In fact, the whole traffic network in and around the town centre has become a laughing stock. For example the turning off of all the traffic lights at the junctions of Main Street, Westgate and Moorgate Street can surely not be legal? Its an accident waiting to happen. The problems at Clifton Lane corner are also bad which leads to another issue. The majority of Rotherham Council staff are still working from home after Covid. These problems are what comes from our traffic engineers doing their jobs without ever visiting Rotherham anymore. In the old days they would have been out there monitoring and improving these bottlenecks i could go on but suffice to say, I'm another skilled, working person who's finished with Rotherham and will be leaving at the earliest opportunity. Most of the final nails in Rotherham town centre's coffin have been banged in by the Council themselves. Shameful.

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