Decision details

Questions from the public in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No



(A)         Question from Mr. Richard Clark to the Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones:-


“Friends of the Earth research shows that Hickleton has the worst air quality in the whole of Yorkshire and ranks amongst the most highly polluted areas nationally.  Hickleton was declared an Air Quality Management Area in 2015, but NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) levels have continued to increase and breach national/EU guidelines.  The high NOx levels are entirely due to the close proximity of houses to the road making it unsuitable for the volume of traffic passing daily.  What actions are DMBC planning to reduce NOx levels and improve air quality?”


The Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, gave the following reply:-


“Thank you for your question Mr. Clark.  It is the case that the annual concentration of nitrogen dioxide along the A635 in Hickleton is the highest recorded within the Borough.


Results also indicate that while concentrations in other areas remain relatively static, Hickleton has seen slight increases over the last 5 years.


The high levels at Hickleton may be attributed to the type and volume of traffic, the proximity of buildings to the roadside, the gradient, bends in the road and the A635 being an arterial route from the A1.


It is clear that improved vehicle emissions are not having the desired effect on Air Quality. It is clear that further measures will be necessary to achieve compliance with the Air Quality objectives.  Doncaster Council has a Steering Group in place that is looking at new opportunities to improve Air Quality where we can.


These action plans are currently being updated and will be published shortly. 


The measures in the Air Quality Action Plan focus on Active Travel, Planning Guidance, Bus Partnerships and Fleet Recognition Schemes.  Thank you for your question Mr. Clark.”


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.10, Mr. Clark asked the Mayor the following supplementary question:-


“Thank you for your answer.  It is clear that the Action Plan measures that have been proposed are insufficient to tackle the poor air quality.  From everything that we hear from Doncaster’s plans and Barnsley’s plans, the volume of traffic is only going to increase further along the A635.  We know the poor air quality is directly down to the volume of traffic.  I therefore doubt whether any specific measures on air quality being tackled alone, will reduce the NOx levels.


There are 19 houses that directly front on to that road; many of them have got young children and I do not think it is fair to the residents to just look at the cost benefit ratio and ignore health.  My question is, we would like a Senior Official from the Council on Air Quality to work with us, so that at least we feel that you are talking to us, you are listening to us and that there may be things that we can agree specifically and jointly that we would find beneficial to us.  So my question is, can we work together and can you nominate someone that we can liaise with and work with in order to at least, be sure that you are listening to what we have to say?”


In response, the Mayor gave the following reply:-


“Mr. Clark, I would be delighted to get someone to contact you and they will discuss where they are with the renewal of the action plans coming forward and we will always work with all the public.  So, I will get your information passed on; I can pass your email on to an Elected Member, so they can get in touch with you and I will do this via my Portfolio Holder, Councillor Chris McGuinness, who will ensure that it will take place. Thank you.”


(B)    Question from Mr. Tony Wilson to the Mayor of Doncaster, RosJones:-


“When will work start on an improved road structure from the A1 at Marr to the Dearne Valley Parkway at Goldthorpe to incorporate a by-pass as promised many years ago for the village of Hickleton in particular, but also Marr itself.  I have contacted the road haulage association who indicate a 54% increase in road traffic by 2050. I have also contacted Transport for the North, an independent government backed hub with money to help such a scheme.  It has been highlighted by Sheffield Council as well as Barnsley and indeed yourselves as an area of concern.  2021, and certainly by 2022, to start such a project, is surely a target for this Council?”


The Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, gave the following reply:-


The scheme is recognised as a potential infrastructure project and its aspiration status has been established in the various strategic and spatial infrastructure plans including the Unitary Development Plan in 1998.  However, the measurable outcomes that trigger current infrastructure investment are comparatively limited for this proposal. The scheme would be very costly, circa £40m, with no identified developer contribution producing a likely low benefit cost ratio.


The scheme would be impacted on by the new HS2 route requiring a crossing of the High Speed Rail line.  Also, the scheme would need to be integrated into the Highways England scheme for A1M widening which has not progressed past feasibility stage and is unlikely to be funded before 2025.


Any potential funding through Transport for the North would be post 2027 and there is currently no timetable for Local Growth funding coming to the City Region.  When funding does become available, we will still need to provide a robust, compelling economic business case for the scheme providing a good benefit cost ratio.


Given the above, Doncaster has positioned the project within the emerging spatial plans that establish the schemes’ status.  However, due to the issues outlined in relation to the benefit cost ratio and available funding, it is not likely the scheme would be seriously considered in the near or medium term future.  Thank you for your question.  We will continue to pursue it.”


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.10, Mr. Wilson asked the Mayor the following supplementary question:-


“I am a long time Doncastrian.  I have been in contact with the hub at Northern Transport and they are amazed that you have not informed them of the incredible amount of accidents and pollution levels in this village; they are not aware of this.  They have said to me that their job is to consult and collaborate with them and they have every opportunity to bring this by-pass forward through collaboration and consultation with the likes of people that I have been in touch with, namely, James Jordan, who is Transport for the North Corporate and Engagement Officer.


The A635 concerns are long-term issues, which will be addressed in due course, as you have said.  However, they are keen to address strategic priorities and concerns through collaboration and consultation.


Simon Shrouder at Transport for the North, who is Rail Stakeholder Manager, has very serious concerns regarding Hickleton and he wants to hear more.  I am asking you as the Mayor to contact Transport for the North immediately and get on with the by-pass?”


In response, the Mayor gave the following reply:-


“We have certainly inputted in to the Sheffield City Region’s response to the Transport for the North’s priority schemes and we will continue to do so, and will make sure that our Officers ensure that all the people that you are quoting, if you can let us have those names, are also consulted.”

Publication date: 07/01/2019

Date of decision: 22/11/2018

Decided at meeting: 22/11/2018 - Council