Dearne cyclists could use Rotherham town centre

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Dearne cyclists could get the ‘green light’ to pedal through the pedestrianised areas of Rotherham town centre in the future without fear of prosecution.

The council is to carry out consultations with the public and local businesses on plans to provide a continuous, direct and safe route for bikes across the town centre.

In a report to the cabinet member for regeneration and development, councillor Gerald Smith, the pedestrianised streets within the town centre were described as “a significant barrier” to cyclists, who use two wheels to get to work, shops and education or for those who want to travel across town.

Although there are a number of roads that cyclists can use to travel around the town centre, many of these, such as the A630 Centenary Way, carry large volumes of traffic, including HGV’s.

This compares with the town centre, where the streets, although pedestrianised, have been designed for vehicle access, to accommodate loading and unloading.

Coun Smith said: “Allowing cyclists to legally enter into the pedestrianised zone would make it a lot easier for the increasing number of cyclists on the borough’s roads and it would continue our long-term investment in promoting cycling as a positive, healthy and cheaper mode of travel compared to private vehicles and public transport.

“Over recent years we have improved routes and facilities for cyclists, for example along Doncaster Road in East Dene, Wellgate, Masbrough, Moorgate and Templebrough. So, making riding legal through the town is also essential to ensure the development of a continuous and direct cycle network.

“Allowing cyclists to use pedestrian streets in town centres is not a new idea - it has already been adopted by a number of towns and cities throughout England, including Sheffield, Newcastle and Nottingham, and studies have also revealed that accidents between pedestrians and cyclists are very rare.”

Consultation began on July 19 for the proposal, which would require a revision to the existing Traffic Regulation Order, and closes on August 16.

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