PROPOSALS to build a pedestrian bridge costing up to £1.5m in order to connect a park which will be at the centre of a new one-way road system with nearby recreation grounds are set to be approved.

Sheffield City Region awarded funding for the ‘active travel’ structure for pedestrians and cyclists over railway lines between Penny Pie Park and Pogmoor Recreation Ground.

The contentious wider scheme, which resulted in Penny Pie Park being closed to the public more than a year ago, will see a multi-lane gyratory built to ease congestion between the town centre and junction 37 of the M1.

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.

Approval for the bridge - which has had no objections from Network Rail, South Yorkshire Police or the South Yorkshire Mining Advisory Service - is set to be awarded at Tuesday’s planning board meeting.

A report said: “As part of the design process for the signalised gyratory, a green space appraisal was undertaken to identify deliverable mitigations to compensate for the impact of the scheme on Penny Pie Park to ensure that the existing facilities would be enhanced.

“One of those enhancements was the provision of a footbridge over the rail line, connecting to Pogmoor Recreation Ground as a compensatory green space with further links to Sugden’s Recreation Ground.

“As the bridge is intended for both pedestrian and cycle usage then a three-metre clear 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.

“The proposed foot and cycle bridge is to be lit throughout the hours of darkness.

“The bridge would be located in the north-east corner of Penny Pie Park and southern boundary of Pogmoor Recreation Ground, spanning the railway line.”

Dodworth ward councillors - who supported the scheme - did have concerns over the bridge being a potential suicide spot and Glendale Close being used as a drop-off point, which could be made subject of a traffic regulation order (TRO) if issues arise in the future.

Original estimates saw £4.3m set aside for the road’s completion, but a further £3.053m was granted before Christmas, taking the total budget of the scheme - which includes the bridge - to about £10m.

The report added: “A number of residents and councillors have raised the issue of using Glendale Close, adjacent to Pogmoor Recreation Ground, as a drop-off or pick-up point for pupils attending Horizon Community College in order to avoid the gyratory.

“This point is noted and is similar to situations on residential streets around school sites - there would be some disruption around peak times but would not warrant refusal given the wider benefits of the scheme.”

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesman for regeneration and culture, said: “We’re delighted to have secured grant funding towards our proposals for this hugely important bridge.

“When complete it will be a significant benefit to residents in both the Old Town and Dodworth wards and the wider local area.

“It will link green spaces currently severed by the railway line making both areas more accessible to communities on both sides.

“The result will be more access to open space for residents to enjoy, increased active travel routes bringing health and wellbeing benefits, and improved access to local businesses which will be brought into easy walking distance to more residents.

“Following the A628 junction improvement scheme the play equipment at Penny Pie Park will be expanded and much improved, and thanks to the new bridge the play equipment will also be more accessible to more families.”