PROPOSALS to build a bridge costing up to £1m in order to connect a ‘trapped’ park which will be at the centre of a new one-way road system with a nearby recreation ground have broken cover.
The green light was given by Barnsley Council’s ruling cabinet members for the scheme, from Penny Pie Park to Pogmoor Recreation Ground, in the summer but a planning application revealing its full details has now been submitted.
Penny Pie Park, on the corner of Dodworth Road and Pogmoor Road, will be affected by the road system which will be built as a traffic-reduction measure.
The park will lose 1.133 hectares of its land but access between neighbouring play areas is cut by a single-track railway line, which runs from Huddersfield to Sheffield via Barnsley.
A council statement said: “The new foot and cycle bridge will provide a safe crossing point, for both children going to and from Horizon Community College as well as the wider general public and will provide a safe and active travel route for the residents of the borough.
“The site falls within both Penny Pie Park and Pogmoor Recreational Ground which has limited vehicle access points.
“Pedestrian access can be gained from several access points throughout both parks.
“It is assumed that the proposed foot and cycle bridge will be erected from the Pogmoor Recreational Ground as this provides easier access.
“As the bridge is intended for both pedestrian and cycle usage then a three-metre width will be provided. New access paths leading to and from the path will also be created, linking into the paths created as part of the signalised gyratory scheme.
Following local councillors’ calls to link the playing areas in the Dodworth and Pogmoor wards, amid safety concerns caused by the multi-lane new carriageway, the council revealed it has set aside cash obtained from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for the bridge.
However, approval is still needed from Network Rail, which has to ensure any developments over the railways are safe.
Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “This is really welcome and when we consulted on the new road scheme, while not everyone was in favour of the scheme, one thing that did come back was getting a bridge across the railway.
“This was for all kinds of reasons, not least of which we know some young people have been crossing that railway line without any safety measures to get towards Horizon school.
“Hopefully it would deal with a number of concerns and issues around there.”
Cabinet spokesman Coun Tim Cheetham added: “This bridge will be a huge benefit to residents in both the Old Town and Dodworth wards and the wider local area.
“Once this bridge is complete, those who previously used Penny Pie Park will have easy access to even more green space than they did before, and they will also find it easier to access business and other facilities like the hospital on foot, by bicycle or wheelchair.
“By linking the green spaces currently severed by the railway line, and by developing the remainder of Penny Pie Park with much-improved play and recreation equipment, the end result will be a better park than we had before.”
Coun Neil Wright, who represents the Dodworth ward, said it was ‘vital’ that the bridge is created and welcomed the council’s decision to set aside the cash required.
“I’ve never supported the ring-road and the amount of residents against it can’t be ignored, but what’s important now is that something good comes out of this,” he added.
“If there’s an opportunity to link the three playing sites it will do two things: ensure pedestrians’ safety and prevent Horizon Community College’s students from having to cross several lanes of traffic.
“I’m glad the council’s backed us on this and I’m hopeful it will get the green light.”
Comments about the scheme can be made on the council’s website until October 28.
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Planning bid submitted for Pogmoor bridge
Author: Josh Timlin
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