Protesters to fight on against road proposals

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Campaigners who battled to protect Sheffield playing fields from a road plan fear the projects could be resurrected.

Sheffield City Region Local Transport Body is proposing a list of schemes for Government approval – which include the £12 million Waverley Link Road.

Rotherham Council had previously made unsuccessful bids for funding to build the road, which would cut across park of the fields off Retford Road, Woodhouse Mill.

Woodhouse Mill and Orgreave Community Forum was formed to oppose the plans – and managed to have the site given protected status as a Queen Elizabeth II Field, under a scheme to mark the Diamond Jubilee last year.

Derek Hutchinson, of the forum, said: “Our campaign resumes with immediate effect and the forum will stay and be self funded as long as it is required.”

Mr Hutchinson said the forum had been due to close after members believed their fight had been won.

He added: “It is very hard for me to turn my back on our field and our communities that enjoy having it.”

The Waverley Link Road scheme involves a 1.2 mile long single-carriageway from Retford Road into the Waverley development, at the site of the former Orgreave coke works.

Also back in line for funding is a bus rapid transit route involving a high-frequency, limited stop service from Sheffield city centre, along the Parkway to Waverley and onto Rotherham Interchange.

Other Rotherham projects include a scheme to increase road capacity in Parkgate and opening land at Parkgate retail centre for a park and ride facility at the new tram-train station.

The full list of transport projects will be submitted to the Department for Transport for approval.