Plans to create an ambitious new park linking Barnsley suburbs begin to take shape

The prospect of a new railway footbridge to link three areas of urban parkland in Barnsley is looking increasingly likely and a new ‘friends’ group could be formed to help run what promises to be a facility “to match anything in the borough”.

By Paul Whitehouse
Monday, 9th September 2019, 11:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 11:46 am
Open space: Barnsley's Penny Pie Park is to take a new gyratory road system
Open space: Barnsley's Penny Pie Park is to take a new gyratory road system

Penny Pie Park on the corner of Dodworth Road and Pogmoor Road will be severely affected by a new gyratory road system to be built as a congestion reduction measure and that decision created widespread protests.

Now Barnsley Council has thrown its weight behind the idea of linking that park – which will largely remain, though the ring-road will leave part of it as a central island surrounded by road – with two others, using a footbridge across a railway line which currently separates them.

Although approval is still needed from Network Rail, which has to ensure any developments on the railways are safe, Coun Phillip Lofts said he believed funding a bridge would not be an obstacle and if that happened, it would open up a connection with Pogmoor ‘rec’ and Sugden’s recreation ground on the opposite side of the tracks.

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A recently refurbished car park already exists off Stocks Lane to serve Sugden’s and co-ordinating the three would be made possible with a bridge, he said.

“There is no reason to think we cannot link them up to create a linear park which will match anything in the borough.”

One option would be to use some of the land for tree planting, to create a new urban woodland which would contribute towards improved air quality as well as providing a facility for those living in the area.

Already talks have started which could lead to the creation of a Friends of Pogmoor Parks group, which could either operate a new area or work in conjunction with Barnsley Council to do so, with the existing Friends of Penny Pie Park.

Plans for such a body were at an “advanced” stage, he said, with local politicians co-operating with residents.

“We are not anticipating any financial obstacles obstacles with the bridge, although it is not signed off,” he said.