Work has commenced on a £6.4 million scheme that will improve bus, cycling and walking connectivity into Rotherham town centre following the appointment of contractor Esh Construction.
Led by Rotherham Council, the combined scheme known as Sheffield Road Cycleways and Maltby Bus Corridorwill create an active travel corridor and promote the use of buses and cycling for short commutes, encouraging a shift away from using car as the more conventional mode of transport.
Over 2km of cycle routes will be introduced on the A6178 Sheffield Road and Westgate between the town centre and the Borough boundary at Tinsley. On the A631 route into the town centre, Maltby Bus Corridor will be developed to bypass areas of congestion on the existing bus network.
Esh Construction Divisional Director, Steven Garrigan, said: “As design and build contractor, we concluded the Stage 1 design phase in spring this year and are pleased to officially mark the start on site with Rotherham Council. We are currently working on three projects that will promote active travel in South Yorkshire – combined we will deliver highway realignment works on more than 12km of roads across the region.”
Cllr Dominic Beck, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Rotherham Council, said: “This is a landmark scheme for Rotherham. Completing the latest phases of Sheffield Road Cycleways will be a great achievement as they provide a safe and pleasant cycling environment and connect developing communities along the route, reducing air pollution, congestion and supporting healthy lifestyles. Completing the Maltby Bus Corridor is a sound investment for the Maltby and Hellaby areas. Local residents travelling to school, college or work will have faster and more reliable bus services, making the bus a real alternative to travelling by car.”
The scheme will be delivered in multiple phases and traffic management measures will be in place throughout to protect members of the public and operatives.
Sheffield Road Cycleways will see major highway amendments undertaken, including roundabout and junction changes which are designed to reduce crossing distances and vehicle speeds. Signalised crossings will be introduced with a mixture of separate, bidirectional cycleways and advisory cycle lanes also constructed. Uncontrolled crossings will be utilised to give cyclists priority over vehicles.
At Westgate Riverside area, measures will be taken to reduce traffic volumes in a bid to improve the local environment for existing and future residents.
Maltby Bus Corridor will enable faster and more reliable bus services into the town centre with 2.8km of new bus lanes to be constructed through amendments to the existing highway infrastructure, the introduction of signalised junctions and pedestrian crossing arrangements.
Garrigan added: “We are committed to delivering social and economic value initiatives that will maximise the benefit in the local area throughout both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the scheme. This includes local spend and local employment opportunities, work experience, employability sessions and carbon emission savings.”
Monies for the scheme were secured by Rotherham Council and the South Yorkshire Mayor Combined Authority from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.
Esh Construction was appointed as contractor via YORhub’s YORcivil2 framework. The scheme is due to complete in Summer 2024.