CONTROVERSIAL plans to open Doncaster’s North Bridge to all outbound traffic are set to come into force later this year, Doncaster Council officials believe.
Workmen are now getting ready to make changes to the road layout around the Marshgate and North Bridge Depot areas.
But opponents fear the alterations will slow down public transport.
Since 2000, North Bridge has been open only to buses, taxis and pedestrians. A new Traffic Regulation Order has now been made to permit the use of North Bridge to all outbound vehicles at all times.
Following the changes to the road layout, which includes a new traffic signalled junction, it is expected that North Bridge will be open to all outbound traffic from the end of October.
Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: “I have advocated that North Bridge should be opened up to traffic for a long time now. In my view it was ludicrous that it was only ever used for buses. Doncaster town centre needs easy access to boost our economy and help our businesses.
“The area around Marshgate has tremendous potential to be transformed into a more attractive and thriving place and these plans will see this undervalued and underused area regenerated.”
But Coun Mick Jameson, chairman of South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, warns the move will hit public transport and make it harder for buses to keep to their schedules.
He said: “The restrictions on the use of the North Bridge were a condition of getting funding for the new St George’s Bridge.
“Public transport plays an important role in many people’s lives, particularly the 30 per cent who don’t own a car.
“I don’t want to see an increase in the problems for public transport and bus operators regarding journey times. That could put people off using public transport.”