DECISIONS on plans to widen two of the main routes into the town centre are expected to be made by the end of October.
A planning application, submitted on behalf of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), seeks to widen Old Mill Lane and increase its current three lanes to five.
This would include a new bus lane, cycle paths, the relocation of a bus shelter, the removal of Asda’s recycling centre and Kaye Pepper’s memorial, who died on July 13, 1996.
Old Mill Lane is considered one of the town’s traffic bottlenecks and it being one of the main routes into and away from the town centre.
The new proposals, which were revealed in January, suggest the widening of the highway to include four lanes and a separate bus lane – five in total.
The bridge over the River Dearne would be widened by around seven metres to accommodate the additional lanes.
A number of trees will also be lost, some of which are covered by a tree preservation order (TPO), to ensure the development is delivered.
If plans are given the go-ahead, the development would be the second major road scheme in Barnsley in the last few years following the controversial approval of a multi-lane road through Penny Pie Park in the Dodworth ward – which was completed earlier this year.
A planning report states: “This assessment has shown that the public benefits of the proposed development are considerable, and it would contribute to a range of economic, social and environmental sustainable objectives.
“This includes enhancing the role of Barnsley town centre in providing access to a range of business, retail and leisure opportunities and promoting the health and wellbeing of local residents and businesses.”
A decision is also expected in the same time frame to widen the A61 Wakefield Road corridor into four lanes, from the current three.
The application – which was also submitted in January – confirms the development will require land-take from residential and commercial premises to the east side of Wakefield Road, where KFC is situated.
The road would be widened by around 7.5 metres to reconfigure the highway layout, and the total new size of the road will be approximately 20m.
A report said: “The proposed development seeks planning permission for the widening of the A61 at Wakefield Road, south of Carlton Road, and including its junction with Smithies Lane.
“The existing road currently comprises three lanes including right turn filter lanes, and a pedestrian footway on either side of the carriageway.”
Both plans were originally set a target decision date of March, but the council has confirmed to the Chronicle they are anticipating a decision will be made by the end of October – though there has been no precise timescale as of yet.