Airport link road ready for take-off

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JOURNEY times from Sheffield to Doncaster Airport could be cut by 25 minutes if a planned link road gets the go-ahead.

The Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme has been backed by businesses and residents as the preferred route.

The scheme which goes before the public tomorrow will see a route which it is hoped will tempt more people from Sheffield to use the airport.

It has been scaled back from the original plans. but airport bosses say they are delighted the scheme now looks as if it will happen,

Funding for the scheme was hit by the economic downturn, but it is still to receive £18 million of government cash. Doncaster Council is putting £56 million into the scheme over four years.

A dual carriageway will lead from the M18 to Rossington. From there, a single carriageway will continue to the A638 at Parrot’s Corner. A direct link into Rossington will enter the town via the former colliery site.

From Rossington, it will also form a link to the planned inland port scheme, which will take rail freight onto the roads and is expected to create thousands of jobs.

Despite the downscaling of the original plans, bosses at Robin Hood Airport are delighted the scheme is now looking closer to fruition.

Steve Gill, airport director, said: “The FARRRS link road is something we have been working towards for many years and this will be a huge improvement to the accessibility of the airport.

“It is important to recognise what an achievement it is for the partners involved to have got the project to this stage which will ultimately provide a road which opens the airport to the Sheffield city region, cutting journey times from Sheffield to 25 minutes.

“For us, this is very much a first phase and part one of our longer-term aspirations to make the airport much more accessible to the Sheffield city region and beyond.”

Doncaster Chamber of Commerce also sees the road as vitally important, event in its planned form.

Dan Fell, chamber head of policy, said: “The important thing is we are going to get the link road.’’