Celebrating the completion of the A61 Royston to town centre scheme

The Mayor of Barnsley and Ed Clancy, Active Travel Commissioner for South Yorkshire, were both on hand to officially open the A61 active travel scheme this afternoon. 

The scheme focused on enhancing connectivity, improving active travel and healthier lifestyles for residents and visitors and has provided a continuous four-mile walking, wheeling and cycling route from the transport interchange in town through to Royston, one of our Principal Towns. 

Community engagement found there were several barriers deterring residents from walking or cycling more in the area. The scheme has addressed these concerns by providing safe off-road cycling routes, quality infrastructure for walkers and cyclists, improved links to other routes, better connections between residential areas and local amenities, and fully signposted cycle routes. 

The active travel route has been enhanced, with dedicated cycling and pedestrian paths offering safe and convenient options for active commuters. These pathways not only promote sustainable transportation but also encourage healthier lifestyles by facilitating recreational activities. 

The scheme has included widened pavements, improved lighting, and upgraded crossings. These enhancements prioritise safety and accessibility, making sure that everyone can navigate the route with confidence. 

This project is funded by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and forms part of the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) and used £4.9m of the £13m of central government funding we were awarded in 2020. 

Matt O’Neill, Executive Director for Growth and Sustainability, said: "The opening of the A61 Royston to town centre scheme represents another significant step forward in our commitment to creating a more sustainable and connected Barnsley and meeting the growing demand for active travel infrastructure. 

“Through community engagement, we have been able to gather feedback about the scheme and tailor it to meet the needs of our residents and provide enhanced transport infrastructure which also promotes healthier lifestyles and opportunities for our residents to be more physically active so they move more, live well and feel better. 

"We’re grateful for the support and collaboration of our residents, partners, and stakeholders in making this vision a reality." 

Ed Clancy, South Yorkshire's Active Travel Commissioner, added: "My priority is to make it easier for everyone to choose walking, wheeling and cycling for everyday journeys. The new A61 walking and cycling route helps to give people in Barnsley and beyond the freedom and choice to travel differently and to be more active.

"Removing barriers that prevent people from moving about - such as busy roads, noisy traffic and dirty air - and introducing more inclusive streets not only helps to bring about better places, but contributes to our end goal of a creating a healthier, happier and safer South Yorkshire."

The project was delivered by local contractor, Esh Construction. Michael Sherrard, Esh’s Construction Manager, said: “It was a pleasure to work in partnership with our client to create an active travel route in Barnsley. Delivering this project required extensive logistical planning, we worked across four different site locations which included online travel networks and commuter routes.

"This is one of three active travel projects we are delivering in South Yorkshire and we look forward to assisting more local authorities to deliver these important infrastructure upgrades in the future.”

For more information about our transport and active travel projects, go to barnsley.gov.uk/services/roads-travel-and-parking/transport-projects.

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