MOTORISTS are being warned to expect delays on one of the main routes out of the town centre after it was revealed a ‘no right turn’ restriction will be in place intermittently for the next five months.

The restriction, which saw a ‘no right turn’ onto Old Tannery Road from Old Mill Lane, began on Monday and ended yesterday,

A council notice states it will return intermittently over the next five months.

It’s a part of major plans to widen the main route into the town centre from its current three lanes to five.

A Barnsley Council spokesperson told the Chronicle: “A lane closure and a temporary no-right turn restriction was in place from Monday for four days to prepare the highway for South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority’s Old Mill Lane Widening Scheme.

“This temporary closure was to allow seven trees and other shrubs and bushes to be removed safely, as detailed in the planning permission, ahead of the scheme starting in the coming months.

“Nine new trees will be planted to replace them once the scheme is complete.”

The scheme will 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.

The proposals, which were revealed in January 2022, suggest the widening of the highway to include four lanes and a separate bus lane - five in total.

Once the work begins, the Chronicle understands that three lanes will be cut to two for ten weeks - and then after 17 weeks there will be three lanes open once again.

The initial plans were given the green light in October 2022 but the work is now set to pick up pace following the recent restrictions.

A planning report said: “The application site forms part of the A61 corridor which is a strategic route linking Barnsley to Wakefield and the M1 motorway.

“The route currently suffers from congestion, significant delay and journey time variation for buses and general traffic.

“Arup - an engineering firm - undertook a feasibility study in 2017 to assess the impacts of a range of potential interventions along the A61 corridor in Barnsley.

“The study found that the Old Mill Lane bridge is a bottleneck for southbound traffic (towards the town centre), and that the benefits of other junction improvement schemes along the corridor would only be realised once the bridge widening scheme is in place.

“The bridge widening is therefore considered to be a crucial starting point to deliver other potential interventions in the future.”

The work is set to take place after a report concluded that there are no road safety concerns that will be ‘exacerbated’ by the proposals.

“Personal injury accident data was reviewed for the five-year period 2016/2020 covering a study area of the proposed scheme and 150-metre approaches to and from the A61 and A635,” the report added.

“A total of 26 collisions occurred within the study are during this period, of which eight were ‘serious’ and 18 ‘slight’.

“The review concluded there are not any road safety concerns on the highway network that are likely to be exacerbated by the proposal.

“The proposed widening of the existing bridge from three lanes to five would reduce congestion and delay and improve journey time reliability.”

Plans are also in the pipeline to widen an adjoining road network, Wakefield Road, from three lanes to four.

This will include 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.