Lessons urged from recent roadworks in Wath to minimise congestion during £9 million library redevelopment

A CALL was made for Rotherham Council to take lessons from recent roadworks in Wath to avoid congestion when the near-£9 million library redevelopment takes place.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between RMBC and the government for the project, being funded from a £20 million Levelling Up grant.

The scheme is set to include a new library and community hub, new connections from Biscay Way to High Street, and enhanced public spaces.

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The council’s cabinet voted to move to the design stage, which is expected to take between six and 12 months.

Cllr David Roche said: “The library has needed redeveloping for some time, so it’s a good way forward.

“That site is right next to where there have been traffic issues for several weeks on Biscay Way.

“Are there any lessons to be learned on traffic measures, diversions so that residents aren’t perhaps subjected to even more unnecessary problems than they are now?”

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Cllr Denise Lelliott, cabinet member for jobs and the local economy, said: “Unfortunately, we can never guarantee that there won’t be some sort of disruption.

“In terms of transport schemes, it’s a nightmare for everybody. But how can you improve road networks without having to close things and divert traffic on occasions to ensure that in the long term we get the sustainable transport that we need?”

The council has said that public engagement events will be held as the design development work takes place, after which the final plans will be brought back to cabinet for approval.

RMBC leader Cllr Chris Read said: “The council’s successful bid for Levelling Up grant money will enable us to make significant, positive changes to Wath town centre.

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“We’re creating modern community facilities and revamping public spaces for people to enjoy and to attract more visitors. These improvements will give the local economy a welcome boost.”

The Levelling Up bid was rejected twice in 2021 and 2022 before the government made an extra £200 million available for projects earlier this year.

Rotherham was awarded a total of £19,990,111, with £8,940,564 allocated to the Wath project and the rest to be spent on Dinnington.