PLANS to replace a key town centre roundabout with another - which would remove priority for motorists and hand it to cyclists and pedestrians - have broken cover after councillors approved a £3m package this week.

The project, at Town End, would be funded through transport funding which has been given to the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

The ‘Dutch-style’ roundabout plans were first mooted in Barnsley back in 2021 but until this week there had been no official location designated.

However, Town End roundabout - a notorious traffic snagpoint - was named in a council report which received a sign-off yesterday.

If the plans are taken further, drivers must give way to bicycles when entering and exiting the roundabout at the red cycle lane that circles the junction.

All entry and exit roads feature narrowed lanes to encourage motorists to reduce their speed and take more time to adjust to other road users.

Cambridge saw the first-of-its-kind roundabout open to the public back in 2020 and the Barnsley site could become the first in South Yorkshire.

There have been ten collisions on the Cambridge roundabout since then, three of them serious, compared to six minor incidents between 2017 and 2019.

It’s believed the scheme will improve the cycling offer in Barnsley, making it safer for those on bikes and pedestrians to navigate the highway.

A council report states: “The proposed scheme will see the development of a ‘Dutch-style’ roundabout at the existing Town End roundabout within Barnsley town centre on the A628.

“The existing roundabout will be replaced and existing priority for motorists will be removed and replaced with pedestrian and cyclist priority at crossing points.”

A total of £420,000 will be used over the upcoming year, with a further £1.29m to then be invested in the project in both 2025/26 and 2026/27.

Other schemes approved at yesterday’s full council meeting include £6m for the first phase of a park-and-ride scheme at Penistone railway station.

Around £100,000 has also been set aside for a feasibility study to see if the North Midland Line - from Wakefield to North Barnsley - could be used for passenger services.

The Chronicle understands all three of the proposed schemes are within the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) and are at varying stages of development.

All are subject to an outline and then full business case from SYMCA before they are progressed.

In October 2018 the government announced a review of the Highway Code in an effort to enhance road safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

The review encouraged drivers to adopt safer passing practices and use the ‘Dutch Reach’ method when opening their cars.

This is a way of opening your car door with your left hand to force you to look over your shoulder for passing cyclists.

Coun James Higginbottom, cabinet spokesperson for environment and highways, said: "In September 2021, the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) submitted a bid to the Department of Transport to secure funding from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS).

“The funding covers schemes focused around sustainable transport, and a Dutch-style roundabout was initially included under a list of schemes that we would look into.

“We're committed to upgrading many areas of our network to encourage more active travel in the borough.

“While we haven't yet started investigating potential improvements at this specific junction, including the possibility of a Dutch-style roundabout, we have many active travel projects underway.

“A number of schemes are ongoing across Barnsley to improve the quality and capacity of active travel routes and better link our borough, making it easier for people to walk and cycle.

“For any future transport schemes, we'll undertake extensive investigation into any possible improvements to make sure we're providing the right balance between user and network benefits, and we continually monitor other schemes around the country to take account of how they perform."