Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones has all but ruled out a long-awaited bypass around two borough villages due to its ‘low cost-benefit ratio’.
Campaigners in the villages of Hickleton and Marr have ramped up a call for a bypass around the areas from the Dearne Valley Parkway in Barnsley to the A1 – first promised in the mid-1990s.
Data from Friends of the Earth put Hickleton along the A635 as having the ‘worst air pollution’ in the Yorkshire & Humberside.
Residents who formed the Hickleton Bypass Action Group said the narrow stretch of road through the village is also a problem due to the volume of HGVs and vehicle collisions.
But responding to public questions from Hickleton residents, Mayor Jones said the development ‘would not be seriously considered in the near or medium term’ and cited costs of around £40 million with ‘no identified developer contribution’.
The mayor also said further complications arise due to the new HS2 route and the proposed widening of the A1.
Tony Wilson, from Hickleton Bypass Action Group submitted a written question to Mayor Jones
He said Transport for the North, an independent Government-backed committee, ‘wanted to hear more’ and were ‘concerned’ about the situation.
Mr Wilson added ‘2021 and 2022’ to start the bypass ‘should be a target' for the council.
In response, Mayor Jones said: “The measurable outcomes that trigger infrastructure investment are comparatively limited for this proposal.
“The scheme would be very costly, circa £40 million with no identified developer contribution producing a likely producing a low benefit-cost ratio.
“The scheme would be impact on the new High Speed 2 route requiring a crossing of the HS2 line.
“The development would also need to be integrated into Highways England's scheme for the A1 widening which has not progressed past feasibility stage and is unlikely to be funded until before 2025.
“When funding does become available we will still need to provide a robust, compelling economic business case for the scheme providing a good cost-benefit ratio.
“Due to the issues outlined in relation to the benefit-cost ratio and available funding it is not likely the scheme would be seriously considered in the near or medium term future. “
Mr Wilson urged Mayor Jones to contact Transport for the North ‘immediately' to ‘get on with the bypass’.