Restricted road upgrade could cut M1 jams in Sheffield

Wood Lane crosses the old Tinsley marshalling yards and connects Europa Link in Sheffield with Brinsworth Road in Rotherham. Image: Google.
Wood Lane crosses the old Tinsley marshalling yards and connects Europa Link in Sheffield with Brinsworth Road in Rotherham. Image: Google.
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A little-known road between Sheffield and Rotherham could be upgraded to cut congestion on the M1.

Wood Lane crosses the old Tinsley marshalling yards to connect Europa Link with Brinsworth Road, which then runs under the motorway.

Consultants are looking at how to improve traffic flows in an area which is vital to Sheffield’s prosperity.

They say as much as 35 per cent of traffic on Junctions 33 and 34 is just crossing between the two towns.

Tunnels under the M1 and a new motorway junction are being considered - and Wood Lane is also on their radar.

Mike Holmes of WSP, a firm hired by Sheffield City Council, said it was one of the options they were looking at. The route is currently ‘buses only’.

He added: “Wood Lane would need some form of engineering upgrade, it crosses the old Tinsley marshalling yards on a narrow bridge owned by Network Rail.

“Our structural engineers are looking at it. It would need to be two-way, single lane, with pavements.”

They would also take cost, environmental and safety issues into account, he added.

WSP is also considering whether a new motorway junction is needed, at a cost of about £200m, and widening the last mile of the Parkway to three lanes, for £42m. It will submit a report to the Department for Transport next year.

Transport campaigner Stuart Green said it was an “exciting” idea.

He added: “On the face of it, it’s certainly a good idea, even an exciting one, without entailing vast expense, although, even better if a new motorway junction were to be included as well.

“I use the Parkway regularly, particularly in the afternoon rush travelling towards the M1.

“To open up and improve Wood Lane would certainly spread the load, helping to relieve pressure at J33 and perhaps to a lesser extent at J34.

“It looks like an exciting idea. Let’s hope it progresses apace.”

The city council is desperate to keep traffic moving in an area set to create thousands of jobs.

But gridlock is already hampering major developments.

A £300m extension at Meadowhall – set to create 1,400 jobs – has been put on hold for a fourth time by Highways England due to traffic concerns.

Thousands more posts could be created under plans for a giant new Ikea - opening soon - the Olympic Legacy Park, an Advanced Manufacturing District and a 48-acre Peel logistics depot at Junction 34.