Residents' anger after latest death on 'rat run' in Hickleton near Doncaster

Residents of a village in South Yorkshire have reignited a decade-long campaign for safer roads after the death of a man who was hit by a lorry.

Campaigners in Hickleton, near Doncaster, say the village is being used as a rat run and have been campaigning for a new bypass to be built for more than 10 years.

A man in his fifties was killed on Monday, 14 August, after being knocked down on Barnsley Road.

One resident, Cathy Freeborn, said it was the latest in a string of deaths on the A635, which connects the A1(M) to the M1.

She told ITV News: "We've had three people killed in my time. Two at the crossroads - a very sad accident of a grandfather and son.

"It's absolutely tragic. And my heart goes out to the family of the man that was killed [on Monday].

"There was another pedestrian killed a few years ago as well."

Another resident, Tony Wilson, said: "The road is not fit for purpose for the amount of traffic going through. End of story."

Louise Leech, who also lives in the village, added: "It's got progressively worse since we've got a lot of new distribution centres on the other side of Goldthorpe.

"So it's sort of like a rat run between the M1 and the A1M."

Plans were first drawn up for a bypass more than 30 years ago, but have been put on hold because of financial constraints. The estimated cost is £120 million.

Despite only around 250 people living in the village, an estimated 20,000 vehicles pass through it every day, including almost 3,000 lorries.

Cllr Glen Bluff said if a bypass could not be built, HGVs should be banned.

He told ITV News: "There's a perfectly good road which goes through Southampton well to the north of here, which is about eight minutes longer.

"We'd like the council to consider banning HGVs altogether."

Villagers are also campaigning to improve air quality in Hickleton after a report to Doncaster Council named it as being one of just a handful of areas in the country which breaches legal pollution limits.

The report, which outlines a plan to tackle pollution, says poor air quality could be linked to serious conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

In a statement, the council said it was "saddened" by news of the most recent fatality.

It said safety measures, such as average speed cameras, had already been implemented following previous incidents.

Dan Swaine, director of place at the council, said: "A bypass for Hickleton and Marr is an aspirational scheme and as a council we want to see it delivered.

"However, the estimated cost of the scheme is circa £120 million and would require government investment in order for it to be delivered.

"We will continue to lobby for a bypass but realistically a project of this size will be challenging to deliver in the short-medium term."

He added that Mayor Ros Jones was continuing to push for the scheme and that they would "explore every pot of funding", but that the majority of funding from the government is focused on creating new cycle lanes and improving public transport rather than on roads.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.