Drivers fume at cycleworks mayhem

DISRUPTION: Cycle Lane roadworks.DISRUPTION: Cycle Lane roadworks.
DISRUPTION: Cycle Lane roadworks.
MILES of roadworks around Rotherham’s £3.6 million cycle path scheme have been described as “creating absolute mayhem” and giving visitors a poor impression of the town.

Businesses say they were not asked their opinion on the project – which aims to provide a bike link between Broom Road and the town centre via Wellgate - and claim the cycleways are unwanted.

Rotherham Titans commercial director John Whaling said the roadworks were causing major traffic delays and putting people off using services.

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He said the works could affect the Clifton Lane-based club and added: “This week they have closed off the roundabout that we access Badsley Moor Road from. This is to last eight weeks in which time we have four home games which we hope are not affected but it is clearly going to be a challenge for our spectators to get to the games.

“I had to go down to Magna and the roadworks along there are ridiculous and the queues into town stretched almost to the Meadowhall junction.

“They have started multiple bicycle lane projects all at once and only seem to work on each one sporadically hence the length of time it is taking to complete any of them.

“The ongoing saga on the road outside New York Stadium seems to be a permanent fixture now.

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“We really are giving a very poor impression of the town to visitors and causing chaos for the people who work here.”

Another Rotherham business owner, who did not wish to be named, said the money spent on the “unnecessary” cycle lanes could have been better used elsewhere.

He said: “I was told they were frightened they would be knocked back on the money if they didn’t do the whole scheme in one go and that’s why it is such a mess.

“It seems to be being done without the proper resources, therefore creating absolute mayhem and it’s taking months and months.

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"How many cyclists do you see in Rotherham? Proper cyclists don’t need cycle lanes and no-one else is going to cycle up Broom Lane.

"What they are trying to do is make a Holland of us. It’s one of those woke agenda schemes.”

Rotherham Council’s assistant director for regeneration, planning and transport Simon Moss said there had been a consultation process and added: “We empathise with our residents and other road users and understand the frustrations they face when roadworks cause delays on our local networks, and we apologise for any inconvenience.

“We always endeavour to minimise the impact on other road users when we undertake such schemes and always seek to inform and consult with businesses, road users and residents before work begins. The public consultation we carried out for the Broom Road scheme was broadly supportive.

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“We do try and keep the impact of construction activity to a minimum, but we are conscious there is a lot of activity and investment going into road improvements here in Rotherham. This particular work is part of a £3.6m nationally funded active travel scheme which will soon make it far easier for our communities to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. While the money could have been spent on other similar schemes it could only be used for active travel purposes.”

Rotherham Council says the majority of the 100-plus respondents to a public consultation last year were in favour of the scheme.

At the opposite end of town, the Sheffield Road cycleways project aims to “support affordable and environmentally friendly travel” with new segregated cycle tracks.