Work starts on new link road between Sheffield and Rotherham

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Work has begun on a new high-speed link road to make journeys between Sheffield and Rotherham quicker.

Construction of the £30 million ‘bus rapid transit scheme’ between Meadowhall Way and Sheffield Road started after preparatory work was completed this week.

The road, which will cut travel time as it avoids junction 34 of the M1, is due to open next year.

It is designed particularly to create a faster route for buses, with a limited number of stops on the route and passengers being able to buy tickets before boarding.

But all traffic would be able to use the road and it is hoped it would also ease congestion on the M1 junction 34 roundabout - encouraging investment to the Lower Don Valley.

A spokesman for the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive confirmed work was underway.

Trams between Tinsley and Meadowhall shopping centre were suspended for two weeks while a new section of road was constructed under Tinsley Viaduct as part of the initiative.

David Young, deputy interim director general for the transport executive, said: “We thank customers for their patience while the tram service was disrupted.

“The work was essential preparatory work prior to construction starting shortly on the link road under Tinsley Viaduct.”

Funding of £15.4 million from The Department of Transport, which triggered £8.1 million from Europe, was agreed for the link road last year.

Minister for Transport Baroness Kramer also visited the site as preparatory work began in December.