'˜New Â£56m link road worth investment'
It was going to be dual carriageway all the way and cost Â£100 million but the Department for Transport changed plans.
The FARRRS link project had to be “refinanced and restructured” – but it survived.
The plan to ease the tortuous trip from just about anywhere to Doncaster Sheffield Airport – and open up thousands of acres of land for development – was conceived 10 years ago.
On Monday it finally opened on time and on budget and with a new name – Great Yorkshire Way.
But it is a different beast. The three-mile route is mostly single carriageway and £34m of its £56m cost came from the private sector.
Three firms pitched in more than £10m each – airport owner Peel, iPort developer Verdion and housing land owner Harworth – to make it reality.
The taxpayer stumped up £18m through the Regional Growth Fund.
But all agree it was worth it.
Airport managing director Steve Gill said they had enjoyed 18 per cent growth last year and were predicting a “miraculous” 50 per cent this year. Flybe is launching flights to eight new destinations on March 24 and has already sold 10,000 tickets.
Verdion is building a £400m ‘inland port’ – a 337-acre railhead and warehousing complex – hailed the largest commercial development in the North. Two giant warehouses are under construction and bosses say there has been plenty of interest in them.
Meanwhile, 5,000 homes are planned
Steve Gill said: “None of this would have happened without the Great Yorkshire Way.”
It is expected to bring £1.7bn of investment and create 20,000 jobs, a decent return on the investment.