With a major drive underway to get more people living in Rotherham town centre, Rotherham Council has unveiled plans to create “living space” on the streets.
Proposals include new traffic management measures to deter people driving through the town centre.
The Council is making changes to manage traffic along Sheffield Road and improve walking and cycling into the town centre.
Using money from part of the Transforming Cities Fund, secured through the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA), 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.
The third phase, now out for consultation, addresses Sheffield Road and Westgate, a key route into town where construction is underway on new housing, with masterplanning also commissioned for a new Riverside residential district.
Major proposed changes include:
– The removal of traffic lights at the Main Street / Westgate junction where cars will no longer be able to turn right from Main Street onto Westgate
– At the junction which replaced Pool Green roundabout (Liquid roundabout), no motor vehicles will be able to cross Centenary Way between Main Street and Masborough Street. The existing turning loops will need to be used instead
– Cars no longer able to make a left turn from Sheffield Road into Old Sheffield Road at Jacko’s
– Cars no longer able to make a left turn from Canklow Road into Alma Road at the tire place
– Wilfred Street, a popular cut-through from Westgate to the Town Hall, will see the one-way system reversed
– Coke Hill and Maltkin Street to be made dead ends where they meet
– Cyclists allowed to use existing contra-flow bus lane on Corporation Street
The Westgate area is set to see the existing 20mph speed limit in the town center extended to continue along Westgate and Sheffield Road, as far as the junction with Old Sheffield Road. This will be enforced by road humps.
Separate cycle tracks, like those on Sheffield Road, have been discounted here due to lack of space.
In the consultation, the Council states: “Our approach is to reduce overall traffic volumes and speeds, and give greater priority to people living, working and doing business in the area, as opposed to those simply driving through – changing the emphasis from a ” traffic space” to a “living space.”
“We expect the following proposed measures to reduce traffic volumes on Westgate by around 40-60 per cent – comparable to reductions seen during the middle of the March 2020 Coronavirus lockdown.”
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, Cllr Dominic Beck, said: “Making more journeys by bike or on foot, instead of by car, benefits us all. Not only by reducing air pollution but also traffic congestion making it easier and quicker to get to work or to the shops. Cycling also encourages more active lifestyles which is good for physical and mental wellbeing.
“The new proposals will have different impacts on premises in the area and we’d like to understand local views on the measures, so we can tailor the designs to meet the needs of residents and businesses – I’d encourage everyone to have their say .”
The route between Rotherham town center and Tinsley will link to Sheffield City Council’s proposed walking and cycling links onward to Meadowhall, and to South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE’s) proposed scheme for a Tram-Train stop with a park and ride at Magna.
Images: RMBC / Google Maps