WORK on major improvements to the A57 near Todwick have been given the final go-ahead.
Local Transport Minister Norman Baker announced this week that he has given his final approval for the £14.7million works.
The plans will see the A57 transformed into a dual carriageway from junction 31 of the M1 to the Todwick Crossroads, which will be replaced by a roundabout and a new 50mph speed limit introduced. Drivers will no longer be able to turn right into Goosecarr Lane.
Mr Baker feels the scheme will unlock significant economic growth potential in the Dinnington regeneration area and improve road safety on the stretch of road.
He said: “This is a useful scheme that will provide a boost for the local area by improving journeys for motorists, pedestrians and bus passengers.”
“As well as reducing congestion on the road, this work will improve road safety so it’s a win-win for the Dinnington area.”
“The £11.8million we are putting into this scheme shows that this government is serious about investing in the infrastructure the country needs to drive economic growth.”
Rotherham Council were told in March that the statutory orders needed to build the improvements on the one mile stretch of road had been granted following a public inquiry last October. They then applied to the Department of Transport for their £11.8 million contribution to the scheme cost.
This week’s announcement means that work can finally go-ahead on the long awaited scheme. Work can start on the main construction, with the road scheduled to open in December 2013.
During the inquiry, residents campaigned for the right turn into Goosecarr Lane to be retained. They claimed that preventing drivers from turning right would force residents to travel hundreds of miles extra every year and divert around 2,000 cars passed the entrance to Todwick Primary.
But inspector Martin Whitehead, who chaired the inquiry, said keeping it could not be justified in terms of extra cost, delays and risk to highway safety.