Rotherham Rugby Club counts the cost of ongoing roadworks

Rotherham Rugby Club's John Whaling and Tony Jenkinson on roadworks-blighted Clifton Lane.Rotherham Rugby Club's John Whaling and Tony Jenkinson on roadworks-blighted Clifton Lane.
Rotherham Rugby Club's John Whaling and Tony Jenkinson on roadworks-blighted Clifton Lane.
ROTHERHAM Rugby Club is taking a big financial hit from the ongoing roadworks chaos caused by the town’s £3.6 million cycle path scheme.

The business estimates it is losing £4,000 per game because reduced access to the Clifton Lane ground is putting people off.

Crowds are down this season despite the team’s good form.

Commercial director John Whaling said: “We are an island now. They have totally cut us off from the rest of the world.

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"There are four ways to get to the rugby club. You can enter it in four different directions and all four have got roadworks on them. One is shut and the other three have got four-way traffic lights.

“This ground is just cut off. It puts everybody off and our gates have dwindled as a result.

"Looking at the same games this year compared to last, we are losing a minimum of £4,000 per match and we can’t afford to lose that.”

The club is expecting a beer delivery today ahead of tomorrow’s match against Hull but there is no guarantee it will get through.

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"Come and have a look at what the driver has to get around,” said Mr Whaling. “He is going to struggle to get here and if he doesn’t get here then we have no beer for the weekend.

“Our postman hasn’t been turning up. He says it has added 20 to 25 minutes to his journey so he is only delivering once a week.

"That’s no good, especially when you are expecting a cheque in the post like we have.”

The prospect of the work over-running is another concern for the rugby club and for residents and motorists further across town who are having to deal with the slew of roadworks and congestion brought on by the project.

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Added Mr Whaling: "It is bad enough they chopped the roundabout up. It looked about finished and then they dug it up again. Apparently they re-laid it wrong. Now they are having to take it up and re-lay it again.

“City Fibre are also doing work at the same time so at the moment there appears to be no end to this.”

Other businesses in the vicinity of Clifton Lane say they were not asked their opinion on the scheme – which aims to provide a bike link between Broom Road and the town centre via Wellgate - and claim the cycleways are unwanted.

Rotherham Borough Council have been contacted for comment.

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