A new active travel route has been completed connected Sheffield and Rotherham.
Working with partners, including the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Rotherham Council is continuing to improve the borough’s 90 miles of cycle infrastructure as part of its Cycling Strategy.
The new plans aim to improve provision so that everyone, of all abilities, can enjoy the health, environmental and economic benefits of cycling, walking, scooting, and travelling actively.
The strategy will also provide a network of active travel routes in the borough that are safe, comprehensive, and accessible, including integration with public transport, to support longer journeys.
Cllr Read, who is also Chair of the Transport & Environment Board for South Yorkshire, said: “The new cycle links between Rotherham and Tinsley offer residents to travel more actively and safely, whether they are new to cycling or are pros. It marks one part of a route that in time will stretch from Nether Edge, through Sheffield City Centre, out to Meadowhall, into the centre of Rotherham, and then onwards towards Broom.
“Dame Sarah has played a key role in encouraging councils to do better at providing safe cycling infrastructure that helps people to travel in a healthy and environmentally friendly way, and that work will go on well into the future. Over the next few years, the Council will be working with our close partners to provide new routes, and I, for one, am very excited and encourage others to get out and use the new active travel routes as they become available.”
South Yorkshire’s Active Travel Commissioner, Dame Sarah Storey, said: “Linking the major towns and urban centres in South Yorkshire was one of my priorities when I arrived in this role 3 years ago, so I am delighted to see this first link opened to connect Rotherham and Sheffield. Including access to Meadowhall this route increases the options for those who work and shop there, but ultimately it creates the first complete route from Rotherham Town Centre to Sheffield City Centre.
“This route is also the first in Rotherham to be built to new standards, giving more space to those on cycles of different kinds and setting the standard for all infrastructure across the region. In the past people have avoided using Sheffield Road for cycling and walking, due to significant safety fears, but the side road priority and full segregation ensure those travelling on foot or by bike are now given the space they need.
“It has been great working with Councillor Chris Read to set out the vision and start delivering, and I want to thank him for his support and help. This is one of the tangible legacies from my work in South Yorkshire, and I want to come back and see the network as it develops.”
The Council has already committed resources in its budget to improve the borough’s existing infrastructure including renewing all worn markings, cutting back overgrowing vegetation, removing weeds and sweeping cycle routes to ensure they a free from litter and debris.
Further government funding has also been made available through the Transforming Cities Fund and Active Travel Fund and the strategy will set a framework to establish the most appropriate way to commit these funds.
The Rotherham to Tinsley scheme is to be delivered by Rotherham Council with money secured from the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.