New hope for bypass around congested Dearne area villages as Mayor sets out transport vision

Busy: Hickleton residents have spent decades campaigning for a bypassBusy: Hickleton residents have spent decades campaigning for a bypass
Busy: Hickleton residents have spent decades campaigning for a bypass
WORK to secure a bypass around the heavily congested village of Hickleton has been given fresh impetus under a transport vision announced by South Yorkshire’s newly re-elected Mayor.

Oliver Coppard has ambitious plans which would see buses taken into public ownership, tram-trains introduced and free fares made available for young bus passengers.

But he also wants to move forwards with plans for road improvements, which would see a bypass to take traffic away from the villages of Hickleton and Marr, along with a link-road to connect the A1 and A19.

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The proposition will be welcomed by villagers in Hickleton, who have been campaigning for a bypass – first proposed in the 1980s – for many years.

Ambitious: Mayor Oliver CoppardAmbitious: Mayor Oliver Coppard
Ambitious: Mayor Oliver Coppard

A pedestrian died after a collision with a lorry in the village last year and speed cameras have also been installed on the road A635 covering Hickleton and Marr.

Mr Coppard said funding for the bypass, which Doncaster Council speculated could cost £100 even before the recent inflation spike, would need Government funding.

Talks to try to secure that were taking place and, it is understood, there are several options for different sources of money which could, potentially, help bring the scheme forwards.

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If the bid for funding succeeds, it will be a major victory for the Mayor, as several previous applications for support have failed.

Under Mr Coppard’s plans, the Dearne area could expect to benefit from better bus services in future.

He wants to take franchises back under public control, freeing up the prospect of using profits from popular routes to support those which do not make money, so are unpopular with private bus operators.

In addition, work will be done to look at the prospect of introducing free fares for young people.

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That is at an early stage, with decisions still to be made on how trial schemes might operate.

Launching his vision for the future of transport, Mr Coppard said better public transport would everyone “the chance to stay near and go far” by providing access to the opportunities available in the county.

He wants a new integrated transport system in place with four years: “To get there we will take a decision on fundamental reforms about how our buses work within 12 months.

"People have told me the current system is broken. I agree.”

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