LONG-MOOTED plans to introduce a safety crossing in Great Houghton are finally set to pick up pace next week - and local councillors have praised the late Dorothy Higginbottom MBE for her dedication to the project.
In recent years, Barnsley Council has worked in partnership with Great Houghton Parish Council to ensure that residents have a safe place to cross on Rotherham Road.
Following a consultation, which was held by Couns Ashley Peace and Dorothy Coates last year, the former said he was pleased to see that all residents’ concerns were listened to and final plans have addressed their worries.
Work will begin on Monday - though no finishing date has yet been set for when the scheme will be finished.
Coun Peace told the Chronicle: “We’ve listened to the residents to get this done and we’ve addressed their concerns.
“I know that some people were objecting about the bus stop staying where it is, but when we spoke to elderly and disabled residents they said they would have had to walk a lot further to get to the next stop.
“Prior to Covid this was going to be a parish council proposal but I’m grateful that we’ve been able to lobby Barnsley Council to get them involved.
“Safety is paramount for this and the new crossing will help.”
The late Dorothy Higginbottom MBE, who died last year aged 81, served on Great Houghton Parish Council for more than 50 years, and on Barnsley Council for 16 years.
In 1997 she founded the Great Houghton Village Hall Committee and had served as its chair.
Dorothy ran a number of groups, taking up the role of chair of Great Houghton Youth Group in 1995.
She was also Mayor of Barnsley from 2012 to 2013.
And Coun Peace said he was ‘proud’ to be able to push forward the scheme which she was influential in.
“You can’t replace Dorothy, but I’m proud to be continuing on things that she was working to do,” he added.
“I wouldn’t be where I am now without her.
“I’m over the moon that we’ve been able to get this done and it’s a testament to Dorothy for her decades of hard work.”
Coun Peace is also working closely with South Yorkshire Police in order to improve road safety in the area by introducing a weight limit on Rotherham Road - as the area is often used by HGVs as a cut-through to the bypass at Hemsworth.
“Work starts on Monday and it’s good for the area,” he said.
“We have had a lot of residents who have contacted us about getting the speed cushions removed.
“But they’re a necessary evil - they’re there to stop a minority of drivers who are speeding but it affects the majority of people who aren’t.
“We’ve got a commitment to keep putting the public first.
“We’re also working with South Yorkshire Police to introduce a weight limit on the road to stop HGVs and big vehicles using the area as a cut-through.”
A spokesperson for Great Houghton Parish Council added: “This has been a very long campaign - around 40 years - for the parish council.
“Also a big thank you to all the residents that took part in the consultation, along with the final push your participation really mattered and made it a real community project.
“Thank you also to Barnsley Council for funding this project as Great Houghton Parish Council were going to fund it before Covid.
“However, coming out of Covid our reserves were depleted and costs had doubled.
“Our last thank you goes to Coun Jeff Ennis and the late Coun Dorothy Higginbottom who put the groundwork in. “