(1) Highways schemes scheduled to be delivered as part of the Local Highways Programme 2015/16
(a) Refurbishment of Clifton Lane crossroads – this scheme will include cycle crossings integrated within Toucan crossings, as well as the creation of a walking route from the Rotherham town centre to Clifton Park; construction works are scheduled to be completed by 31 March 2016.
(b) St. Ann’s roundabout improvement works (utilising funding secured from the Sustainably Transport Exemplar Programme) - the traffic signals at the junction of the A630 Centenary Way and Kenneth Street will be removed, facilitating improved traffic flows and bus journey times in the direction of Parkgate and Fitzwilliam Road (and reducing the use of Kenneth Street and Effingham Street as a ‘rat run’). A new pedestrian/cycle Toucan crossing will be installed at the roundabout exit onto Fitzwilliam Road. Also, at the Fitzwilliam Road and St. Ann’s Road approach to the roundabout (south side), some lengths of the subway will be filled in to facilitate the creation of a walking/cycling path, enhanced by environmental improvements. The traffic signals are to be removed at the St. Ann’s Road approach onto the St. Ann’s roundabout. These improvement works will benefit pedestrians, cyclist and public transport users.
(c) The walking and cycling route from Masbrough into the Rotherham town centre is being improved, including the widening of the section of footway between the railway station and the town centre.
Members noted that the modern traffic signals, being installed, have a button for blind and partially sighted people to press, to check that it is safe to cross the road. This facility is particularly needed at busy junctions which have separate signals for different route directions, where the audible signals may cause some confusion for blind and partially sighted people.
(2) Highways outside Schools – 20 mph vehicle speed restriction
Members were informed of changes which were taking place, at the instigation of Central Government, which included the relaxation of guidelines and gave Highway Authorities more flexibility to establish 20 mph speed limits on highways in their areas. Reference was made to the Borough Council’s own policy in this matter (Minute No. C162 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 15th January 2014 refers). The policy was being applied and tested in respect of the traffic speed on highways outside a number of schools in the Borough area, as follows:-
: Ravenfield Primary School at B6093 Moor Lane North – a trial scheme had begun in May 2015, which included a part-time advisory 20mph speed limit on this highway which passes the School;
: Thurcroft Junior and Infant School – B6060 Green Arbour Road and also School Road;
: Brinsworth (secondary) Academy – B6067 Brinsworth Road;
: Wickersley Northfield Primary School – Northfield Lane;
: Sandhill Primary Academy - Kilnhurst Road, Rawmarsh;
: Brampton Ellis CE Primary School – Brampton Road and the B6089 Packman Road (this location is still under consideration).
Members noted that the highway and road safety assessments will be undertaken, including surveys of vehicle speeds. Other locations may also be considered for this process and Members would be able to make suggestions of suitable schools and highways. It was noted that this process does not take account of any issues relating to the provision of school crossing patrols, which were being considered as part of the Council’s budget deliberations.
(3) East Herringthorpe – introduction of 20 mph speed limit in the area, with minimal traffic calming; the necessary Traffic Regulation Orders have been advertised and design work has begun on this scheme. Construction works are scheduled for completion by 31 March 2016. The scheme has similarities with the previous scheme for the East Dene area, although at East Herringthorpe fewer road humps/cushions will be installed.