A MULTI-MILLION pound project which will see scores of roads and footpaths receive improvements - including a £2m pothole repair fund - has been revealed by Barnsley Council.

A total of £18.6m has been made available for a host of schemes in 2021/22, according to a cabinet report which is due to be approved on Wednesday.

The report, released this week, said around £2m has already been spent up to the end of March on drainage improvements, resurfacing of the A634 Doncaster Road between Darfield and Goldthorpe, the construction of a pedestrian and cycling path between Ardsley and Darfield and traffic signal upgrades across the borough.

However, doubt remains over funding available in the coming years and forthcoming work will be a ‘balancing act’ as a result.

The report, compiled by highways boss Ian Wilson, added: “The level of funding for the council’s highways programme for 2022/23 and beyond remains particularly uncertain within both regional and national contexts, which presents a key risk for the service in terms of service delivery and continuity.

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“Now the South Yorkshire devolution deal has been agreed, the Mayor (Dan Jarvis) has powers to direct how funding, potentially including maintenance grants from the Department for Transport allocated to the Sheffield City Region, is spent.

“It is, however, unlikely that the allocation of funding will be affected in 2021/22 as no announcement has been made.

“There is uncertainty of how the funding received from the DfT will be distributed, and there remains a risk to the council as there is the possibility of a significant reduction of external funding coming.”

Future schemes - such as ‘worst-first’ resurfacing in Penistone and Haigh, improved street lighting and more drainage work as a result of flooding concerns - have also been revealed, totalling £15.3m, with more than £3.2m being carried over to 2022/23.

“The carriageway that passes beneath the M1 at Haigh is a local road and as such, the maintenance responsibilities rest with the council,” the report added.

“The road network in this area now requires a programme of general maintenance works.

“These works have to be coordinated with Highways England, which is a government company that operates, maintains and improves the M1.

“Currently, discussions are ongoing to facilitate this work and jointly agree when these works can occur.

“It is also proposed to undertake a minimal scheme of work to the access road serving Penistone’s household waste recycling centre.

“While this access road is unadopted and would normally attract contributions from other frontages, its unprecedented usage of during the Covid-19 situation has seen significant deterioration of the carriageway due to unprecedented volumes of traffic.

“It is therefore reasonable to link the recent excessive deterioration to Covid-19.

“However, construction of project will be a significant challenge as it is operational seven days a week.”