Rotherham Council’s Cabinet is set to approve a decision to fast-track schemes which will reduce pollution in the borough.
Three areas of improvement will look to be progressed:
- Reduction in the speed limit on the Rotherham Gateway section of the Parkway.
- One-way restriction of Heavy Goods traffic on Wortley Road, from Bradgate Park to Junction 35 of the M1.
- Improvements to the Bellows Road junction to enable the diversion of some buses from Rawmarsh Hill to Barbers Avenue
These schemes aim to reduce harmful NO2 pollution which primarily comes from diesel vehicles, contributing towards respiratory problems like lung disease and asthma. High air pollution has also been linked to increased incidence of heart attacks and strokes.
The speed limit reduction on the Parkway is linked to the ongoing works to improve the junction - the speed limit will be in place for the duration of these improvements and remain after they are completed.
The Wortley Road restriction aims to redirect traffic to Junction 34 of the M1, removing traffic travelling uphill, where large good vehicles tend to produce more pollution. This also moves this traffic away from the area near people’s homes.
The improvements to Bellows Road will be made ahead of any proposed route change, which will be progressed following research and consultation on which services could be moved to benefit residents in the area.
Councillor Emma Hoddinott, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety said: “There is no need for us to wait around to tackle air pollution. By agreeing these schemes now, we can improve the quality of the air you breathe as soon as possible."
Councillor Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy said: “These schemes not only remove pollution, but also seek to improve public transport. They go hand-in-hand with the cycling strategy consultation we are also seeking to approve in this Cabinet.”
Rotherham is progressing the schemes after a letter of assurance was sought from the Joint Air Quality Unit, and is seeking to progress on schemes approved by Rotherham in the Outline Business Case submitted in December 2018 and consulted on in 2019. The Full Business Case is tied to a broader Clean Air Plan, which includes projects held jointly with Sheffield City Council.
The schemes underwent public consultation in 2019, with the majority of responders agreeing with the schemes.