THE need for Featherstone and Ackworth bypasses was recognised in the 1970s.
The soil investigation and proposed routes were identified before the closure of Glass Houghton pit and coke ovens, yet the link road from Normanton to Freeport which runs parallel to the M62, duplicating what’s already there, has had priority. Why?
Since the 1980s when mining regeneration funds became available, Barnsley MDC have constructed over 12 miles of bypass plus industrial link roads from the Hemsworth boundary to Wath and beyond, transforming and rejuvenating numerous former pit towns.
The Featherstone area is still in decline. Why? It’s 2012, travelling the 16 miles from Wath to Purston takes a steady half hour, it used to take twice as long.
The first delays and traffic lights are in the Wakefield district, then it gets worse.
From Ackworth through Featherstone to Normanton industrial estate can take over half an hour, though its less than half the distance so the bypasses would complete the chain, complimenting industry and employment.
With two substantial housing developments proposed for Featherstone, without the missing links already high levels of carbon monoxide generated in the rush hour when children are taken to school would increase, along with journey times.