The Speed Awareness Group Ardsley (SAGA), formed three years ago, has welcomed plans for a £90,000 injection of cash that will be put towards road safety schemes not otherwise flagged up in collision data.
Group members have previously wondered whether ‘someone has to be killed’ before action is taken to stop frequent accidents and near-misses on Doncaster Road, a 40mph dual carriageway which is the site of a primary school and runs through the middle of the 1,200-home village.
Currently, areas flagged up as dangerous due to frequency or nature of collisions are dealt with on a ‘worst first’ basis, based on data from South Yorkshire Police.
For a site to be considered a priority, council documents state, it would need to have had at least six collisions within three years.
The Chronicle understands Doncaster Road is a priority for ward councillors who are now engaging in a four-week consultation to put forward their scheme ideas, ending on March 12.
Motorists can regularly reach speeds of 70mph, said John Evans from SAGA, while children from Oakhill Primary Academy and crossing guards ‘take their lives in their hands’ twice a day.
A recent attempt to tackle speeding drivers on the road, a new digital speed camera, was burnt out by vandals weeks after it was installed in June - while zig-zag lines painted outside the school have simply caused people to park more dangerously towards the brow of the hill, said John.
The road, which stretches for more than a mile before it narrows to a single carriageway, only has a single crossing, used by children at school-times.
Crossing facilities, especially those which help disabled or visually impaired people and access to public transport, are listed among criteria for preferred proposals.
It’s unclear how the money will be distributed across the borough, other than documents saying a longlist will be reviewed in the coming months ahead of schemes being selected from April.
“We welcome the decision by Barnsley Council to invest thousands of pounds in the Road Safety Initiative pilot scheme to tackle traffic blackspots around the borough,” said John.
“It is our hope - whilst appreciating that these monies will be distributed across the Barnsley area - with the number of annual collisions and danger to pedestrians crossing the road due to speeding on the dual carriageway at Doncaster Road, Ardsley, that serious consideration is given to introducing traffic calming measures in this area.
“Our concerns have been made to the various authorities over many years.
“This has been given the full and still ongoing support from local ward councillors, who we feel sure will take this opportunity to highlight several schemes for consideration, ahead of a detailed analysis.
“We feel confident, that the schemes proposed will reduce the number of accidents and improve road safety for residents of all ages within the community.”
If deemed successful, the Road Safety Initiative pilot scheme may lead to future funding.
Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transportation, said: “This proposed pilot funding presents a different opportunity to look at local intelligence and feedback from the community to consider locations which we believe do present a risk and where action might be needed.
“I hope local councillors will embrace this opportunity and help us make sure we have the best information to make sure this funding is directed to where it is needed most.”