The road to prosperity for Sheffield region nears completion

Mayor of Doncaster Cllr Ros Jones on the new road under construction to link the M18 motorway to Robin Hood Airport on the outskirts of Doncaster Picture Dean Atkins
Mayor of Doncaster Cllr Ros Jones on the new road under construction to link the M18 motorway to Robin Hood Airport on the outskirts of Doncaster Picture Dean Atkins
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It is possible to drive the full length of the crucial Doncaster link road, on which fortunes of several multi-million pound projects depend - but a mile of it is still mud.

Elected mayor Ros Jones took the first end-to-end tour of the three-mile stretch to get a feel for how the borough’s most important project is progressing.

From Junction 3 of the M18, she found a mile of silky smooth tarmac - before bumping on to a rough track.

It rises up to the highest point - a bridge over the East Coast Mainline - before descending to a final mile of road leading to Parrot’s Corner, just a mile from Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

The £56m Finningley And Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme is set to slash journey times from Sheffield city centre to half-an-hour - and based on it being finished in February, airlines Flybe and Aer Lingus Regional have piled in.

It is also the catalyst for a £400m railhead - called an inland port - which is under construction. Mayor Ros said: “This road is going to help regenerate the borough. It says we are open for business.”

The new route has one junction, a roundabout leading to Rossington, a village served by one road with a level crossing over the busy East Coast Mainline. The gates are down on average 40 minutes in every hour.

The road will open up the old village and should mean 1,200 homes built on the former Rossinare gton Colliery site.

Built on an embankment - which used 2m tonnes of material mainly from the former colliery - it goes over two railway bridges and four water courses - including the ‘Mother Drain’.

Drivers will be able to reach the end of FARRRS in about three-and-a-half-minutes thanks to a 70mph speed limit - compared to 20 minutes or more through Doncaster town centre now.

The project was funded through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, Harworth Estates, airport owner Peel Group and inland port operator Verdion. It is also supported regionally by the Growing Places Fund and Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.