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Doncaster's North Bridge may reopen to traffic

NORTH Bridge could be reopened to general traffic to ease congestion under plans being considered by Doncaster Council.

The once infamous bottleneck on the old Great North Road closed to cars with the opening of St George's Bridge in 2002.

Its closure followed a successful campaign for the North Bridge Relief Road Scheme which saw more than 40m of Government cash ploughed into relieving congestion on the north side of the town. Now Doncaster Council documents reveal that reopening the bridge has been proposed because congestion is still a problem.

The proposal will be considered by the council's overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday.

It is understood background work on possible uses of the bridge has already been carried out on the personal orders of Mayor Martin Winter.

The bridge, next to the Frenchgate Interchange, has been reserved for buses and taxis only since the new St George's Bridge opened in 2002.

But a potential stumbling block for the plans could come from the Department for Transport.

It funded the 44 million St George's Bridge project on the understanding the old bridge would be "refurbished and converted for public transport use" and the mayor's study is thought to include an assessment of whether the Government would try to claw back its investment if the traffic system was modified.

The North Bridge Relief Road Scheme was one of the first local Private Finance Initiative schemes.

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