Cabinet has approved a long-term solution to alleviate traffic congestion and improve access into Barnsley town centre from Junction 37 of the M1.
The A628 Dodworth Road is a key route within the borough and a gateway into the town centre. Over time, both the population of the borough and levels of vehicle ownership have increased leading to queuing and standing traffic during peak times.
To address this, there have been a number of highway improvements carried out between J37 and the town centre. In 2006, the Dodworth by-pass was constructed and in 2015, additional lanes and signals were added to the J37 gyratory. These schemes have reduced queuing and improved journey times but further measures are required to future proof the route.
Multiple options have been designed and tested to provide enough capacity to meet the current and future growth aspirations of the borough. An option that would have required compulsory purchase of property to widen the road was dismissed. The council has agreed its preferred option and a planning application will be submitted. As well as the preferred option addressing the increase in forecasted traffic, an improvement in air quality will be achieved in the area by Horizon College.
Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “We need to make it easier for people to get in and out of Barnsley from the M1 at Junction 37. Better roads will improve travel times for local residents and encourage more businesses to invest in Barnsley.
“For some time we’ve been exploring options to ease existing congestion and improve air quality along Dodworth Road. A long term solution is needed to provide enough capacity for the current volume of traffic and prevent queuing on the M1, as well as accommodating the future business and housing growth aspirations of the borough.”
A greenspace appraisal has been carried out to reduce the impact of the proposed scheme by enhancing the facilities available in the local area:
- The LEAP, MUGA, and outdoor gym will be retained and relocated in Penny Pie Park
- New footpaths and a children’s cycle path will improve access
- Pogmoor recreation ground will benefit from improved pedestrian access and additional benches and bins
- Sugdens recreation ground on Stocks Lane will be upgraded from an equipped play area to a NEAP
Sheffield City Region has approved a full business case for a contribution towards the scheme which is subject to the adoption of the Local Plan, planning approval and endorsement of the funding agreement.
The Cabinet report can be viewed here. An information session will be delivered to local residents and interested parties in due course; the proposed scheme will be subject to the usual planning consultation.