One year after opening Great Yorkshire Way is delivering on its promises to drive jobs and economic growth for Doncaster and the wider region.
The three mile link, delivered in partnership between Doncaster Council and private sector companies The Peel Group, Verdion and Harworth Group, opened on 29 February 2016 and the impact is staggering as the road reaches its first anniversary.
The new connection to the M18 has contributed to Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s best ever year with 1.2 million passengers in 2016. The £500m iPort scheme has also made stunning progress with four new tenants already signed up and the redevelopment of the former Rossington Colliery site is well underway with the sale of new homes going extremely well.
Wider benefits include seeing the Aero Centre Yorkshire, the 1,600 acre development site around the airport which is capable of 5.5m square feet of potential employment space now highly accessibly thanks to the opening of Great Yorkshire Way. Aero Centre Yorkshire has been recognised by the top level of UK government as one of the top investable projects in the North.
Since the road opened it is estimated that over 5.3 million vehicles have travelled along it with users benefiting from significantly reduced journey times. The link has also had a hugely beneficial impact on Bawtry Road greatly reducing queues and congestion.
Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, said: “We always said Great Yorkshire Way would be a game changer and deliver jobs and growth for Doncaster and the wider economy and it is doing exactly that. No one can argue with the evidence that this major infrastructure scheme is a real success story. Doncaster Sheffield Airport is enjoying remarkable growth, iPort is developing out at a rapid rate of knots and the new homes are being snapped up. As well as the vast economic benefits, which will see thousands of new jobs and homes created, the difference this road has made for people living in Doncaster is tremendous with the direct access onto the motorway network reducing their journey times significantly.”
Steve Gill, chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “In the past 12 months Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has seen a record numbers of passengers and this is in no small part thanks to the difference that Great Yorkshire Way has made to our accessibility.
“Great Yorkshire Way is delivering greatly enhanced connectivity to the Sheffield City region’s airport, placing DSA within minutes of the UK’s major motorway network and bringing global business closer to Sheffield’s £30 billion economy.
“Since the opening of the M18 Junction 3 motorway link road we have seen impressive planned growth with increased capacity from our incumbent airlines Thomson and Wizz and our new partnership with Flybe.
“This gateway to the Sheffield City Region is truly transformational and the new road is proving to be a huge draw for passengers, adds to our cargo offer and its wider role as a catalyst for attracting inward investment to the region.”
The 337 acre iPort located off Great Yorkshire Way, next to the M18 motorway, has developed tremendously in the last year.
John Clements, European Development Director at Verdion, said: “The Great Yorkshire Way was the final link in the chain to open up the iPort development. The last year has been phenomenal, having committed over 2.34 million sq ft of high quality logistics space to household names at iPort, bringing with this many jobs for the region. Following this success, we are about to push the button on the development of Phase 2 which will provide a further 3 million sq ft with road and rail access.”
In terms of new housing, Harron Homes has already built and sold 33 homes and is building 41 more on their Torne Park development. Taylor Wimpey is also on the former Rossington Colliery site preparing foundations for the first of their 96 homes. Harworth Group plc has also undertaken part of the restoration of the former spoil tip, with works to complete later this year.
Duncan Armstrong-Payne Associate Director of Harworth Group plc, said: “Having two leading housebuilders at Torne Park is a real sign of confidence in a scheme that was only unlocked through the completion of Great Yorkshire Way. As the site will be developed out over the next ten years, locals can expect to see over 1,200 homes, a small number of supporting retail and commercial units and the full restoration of the former spoil heap. Doncaster Council are continuing to be extremely supportive in helping bring forward the development and their commitment to regenerating this part of the Borough should be applauded.”
A new bus shuttle service has also been launched to get people from Doncaster town centre to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
Allan Riggall, Head of Commercial at First South Yorkshire, adds: “Great Yorkshire Way has had a positive impact across our network and as a result we have seen a significant improvement in the punctuality of our Doncaster buses. Thanks to Great Yorkshire Way, the X4 Doncaster Airport shuttle offers fast direct access to the airport, from the town centre, in just 22 minutes, and it’s pleasing to see that the service has become a popular choice for travellers, with 40,435 customers carried since its launch in September 2016. It has also provided faster journeys to and from Rossington for the 55 and 56 services.”
The innovative project, managed by Doncaster Council was delivered by a unique team made from the very best of the public and private sectors. The partnership between Doncaster Council, Peel Group, Verdion and Harworth Group plus Mott MacDonald’s design and Carillion’s construction expertise made this £56million road a reality.
The Peel Group, Verdion and Harworth Group contributed £34million to the scheme to add to £18million of Regional Growth Funding with the balance met by the council. Great Yorkshire Way is supported by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Combined Authority and is a central part of the Sheffield City Region Growth Plan which aims to stimulate economic growth and create 70,000 jobs over the next 10 years. The scheme also received extensive backing from Doncaster Chamber and the business and residential communities.
People can find out more about the scheme at: www.doncaster.gov.uk/greatyorkshireway