Protestors seek support against new road ‘gyratory’ in Barnsley park

Tie a yellow ribbon: A symbolic gesture and protest note at Penny Pie Park, Barnsley, which is under threat from a road scheme
Tie a yellow ribbon: A symbolic gesture and protest note at Penny Pie Park, Barnsley, which is under threat from a road scheme
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Protestors campaigning against a scheme to introduce a ring road around a public park to reduce traffic congestion on the approach to Barnsley town centre have been lobbying councillors and visitors to Barnsley town hall in an attempt to boost support for a petition.

Barnsley Council has agreed to proposals from its highways officials to install a one way system which will take up the perimeter of Penny Pie Park, a green space alongside Dodworth Road at the Broadway crossroads.

It will leave most of the park intact, though it will become an island surrounded by roads, and was chosen by the council as the option which causes least damage to the existing area.

Other potential schemes could have involved demolishing homes to create more space for traffic.

Organiser Peter Giles said they were already up to 2,100 names, but had been told by a council official that they would need 10,000 signatures to get the petition discussed by the council.

They handed out flyers to those attending the town hall ahead of a meeting of the planning board, the body which will eventually decide whether planning permission for the project should be granted.

It is unclear when that decision will be taken, but Mr Giles said it was unlikely to happen during September.

“The whole consultation process has been a terrible mess and has totally disregarded people,” he said.

One option protestors would like to see better explored is a combination of park and ride facilities combined with higher town centre parking charges, to encourage commuters to avoid making the journey into town via Dodworth Road.

Barnsley Council have insisted they had to act because journey times between the M1 and the town centre were becoming increasingly long and projections suggest that within a few years traffic would be left backing up onto the motorway, something which had to be avoided.