SIGNIFICANT plans to widen one of the main routes into Barnsley town centre into four lanes to help ease congestion - which will require taking land from local residents - have broken cover just weeks after a similar scheme on an adjoining road emerged.

The application, submitted on behalf of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), seeks to widen the A61 Wakefield Road corridor.

It would deliver four traffic lanes - from the current three - including the provision of new footways, pedestrian crossings and two new bus stops.

Industrial and commercial units - such as KFC and Topps Tiles - surround the site, while residential properties are also located around Carlton Road to the north-east of the planned site.

The application confirms the development will require land-take from residential and commercial premises to the east side of Wakefield Road, where KFC is situated.

Consultation has taken place with the owners and a notice has been served as part of the application submission.

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.

Planning permission is also being sought to widen Old Mill Lane - a road that directly joins onto the new plans - into five lanes.

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 A61 application states the proposed road-widening scheme represents a ‘highly sustainable’ form of development, providing benefits such as reducing congestion, improving inbound flow for buses and general traffic, and reducing journey time variability.

“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 report said.

“The existing road currently comprises three lanes including right turn filter lanes, and a pedestrian footway on either side of the carriageway.

“This assessment has shown the public benefits of the proposed development are considerable, and the proposed development would contribute to a range of economic, social and environmentally sustainable development objective.

“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 total of 105 neighbours have been made aware of the application with no appeals to date.

Public consultation ends on February 8.