|Sheffield Outer Ring Road|
|From:||Greenhill, Sheffield (SK352812)|
|Via:||Eastern loop of the city|
|Distance:||17.3 miles (27.8 km)|
|Meets:||A61, B6054, B6057, B6388, B6063, A6135, A57, B6200, B6085, A631, A6178, A6109, B6082, B6086, A6135, A61, B6088, A616|
|Former Number(s):||B6054, B6084, B6086, B6084, B6079, A616, B6088|
|Route outline (key)|
Forming the Outer Ring Road to the east of Sheffield, the A6102 has been upgraded to dual carriageway standard, but cut short in its prime when the north-eastern section was downgraded in status in the 1980s.
The road also continues north from Sheffield along the original line of the A616 to meet the present route of that road on the Stocksbridge bypass.
Section 1: Meadowhead to Arena
The road starts at a major roundabout (Meadowhead Roundabout) with the A61 Meadowhead Road/Chesterfield Road and the B6054 Greenhill Parkway on the southern edge of Sheffield. This part of the A6102 heads east and is dual-carriageway for much of its length between Meadowhead and the Arena. Within half a mile, another less significant roundabout connects the B6057 Jordanthorpe Parkway and the old route of the outer ring road, Norton Lane. The next section, called Bochum Parkway (after Sheffield's twin city in Germany) was constructed in the early 1980s as a local bypass for Norton Village. The speed limit along this section is 40 mph; however, it is widely ignored by both drivers and local police enforcement. The 40 mph speed limit was put in place because of a signal-controlled crossing facility halfway along the route for cattle crossing between Grange Farm and fields either side of the new road. The need for the cattle crossing has subsequently been removed; however, a proposal by the local Road Safety Team to raise the speed limit was defeated by the need to protect the lighting columns along the route with a safety barrier.
The next stage of the road passes by the old Norton Aerodrome and then reaches a section that is dominated by the South Yorkshire LRT (aka the Supertram) constructed in the mid 1990s. Meeting the B6388 Gleedless Road/White Lane at Gleedless Townend, the route begins to twist towards the north towards Manor Top, passing the B6063 Hollinsend Road before reaching a major signal-controlled junction at Manor Top. This junction was previously a smaller roundabout and was notorious as a local traffic bottleneck. The junction improvement completed in late 1994, whilst adding significantly more capacity, failed to solve the congestion and still suffers at busy times. Manor Top forms a junction between the A6102 Ridgeway Road/Prince of Wales Road, and the A6135 City Road. Manor Top is also locally known for being one of the first places to be hit by snow in southeast Sheffield.
Heading north but downhill, the LRT leaves the A6102 to its former glory; however, trams formerly ran up the middle of Prince of Wales Road up until 1960. This section of road passes through a massive area of Local Authority Housing built in the 1930s, with some subsequently modernised in the 1980 and 1990s, but many areas being deemed beyond repair due to a problem with cements and brickwork (bricks laid with the frog up). These homes were cleared, making way for new housing stock and wider open areas of parkland; however, the area is also known for car-related crime.
Halfway down Prince of Wales Road is the grade-separated junction with the A57 Sheffield Parkway. This junction was originally constructed as an at-grade junction in the early 1960s then later improved to the current layout in the late 1960s. The original prestressed concrete beam bridges were found to be unsuitable for a new higher weight limit and were replaced in 1999 with new structures, whilst maintaining the roundabout operation with the use of a Bailey Bridge. Some minor widening to the A6102 approaches were completed as part of the scheme to accommodate the temporary layouts.
Heading still north and downhill, the dual carriageway narrows under a mainline railway, before meeting the former route of the A57, now B6200 Main Road. There have been various proposals over the years to improve this junction, with a grade-separated expressway type scheme in the early 1970s seeing some pre-scheme demolition of homes on the southern side of Main Road, further buildings cleared in the early 1990s for the current signal-controlled junction and again more homes cleared in the late 1990s to accommodate some widening on the A6102 approach from the south. Plans in the 1990s to widen the road to a full dual-carriageway were put on hold due to the cost of line possession and seem to have now completely disappeared from any council aspirations. Congestion on both approaches is significant at peak periods due in part to the single lane in each direction under the railway.
The section between Darnall and the Arena was widened firstly between Darnall and 200 m north of Catley Road in the late 1980s, then again northwards in the mid 1990s as Outer Ring Road Stage 3 and 4. These schemes added a signal-controlled junction with the A631 Shepcote Lane and provided a new bridge over the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal, a local railway line and the South Yorkshire LRT Meadowhall line. The bridge is crowned by a set of silicone-filled reconstituted stone domes, the silicone used to reduce the weight of the copings.
The final length in this section is Broughton Lane, which was widened in 1990 to improve access to the A6178 Attercliffe Common and provide access to the (Sheffield) Arena in time for the Summer Universiade (World Student Games) held in July 1991. The games required the construction of the Arena, Don Valley International Athletics Stadium, Ponds Forge International Diving and Swimming Complex, and several other venues and saw the beginnings of Sheffield as a centre for sporting activities and the home of the English Institute of Sport.
Section 2: Arena to Hillsborough
The A6102 used to form a complete ring-road around the eastern side of Sheffield; in essence it still does, but has been downgraded from being signed as a "Ring Road" since the 1980s. Apart from a small part of dual carriageway between the A6178 Attercliffe Common and A6109 Brightside Lane, built as part of the £33M Don Valley Link project, the whole section is urban single-carriageway.
The road diverges from the A6178 and continues towards the A6109 on a D2 alignment, heading over the river Don as it does so. Then we reach the roundabout with the A6109 and head straight on, where the road becomes a slow-and-steady S2 with traffic lights and roundabouts. We head under the railway line and across the B6082 into Grimesthorpe. We are heading through some of Sheffield's poorer areas now. We pass through a sort-of roundabout, and then head up to the Fir Vale crossroads with the A6135. This section is very slow at rush hour because of speed humps and the fast-approaching crossroads. We head over the A6135 and up past the Northern General hospital where we can at last pick up some speed, only to be stopped by another roundabout. Once we leave the roundabout, we pass into a 40 mph zone and wide S2 road, where we can keep going and head downhill towards the A61 outside Hillsborough football ground, home of Sheffield Wednesday FC. Here it gets complicated.
Section 3: Hillsborough to Stocksbridge Bypass
After a short gap, the A6102 continues on through Middlewood, Oughtibridge and Wharncliffe Side before reaching Deepcar, where a signal-controlled junction built in the early 1990s turns the A6102 sharply towards the A616 Stocksbridge Bypass.
If we continued to the A61, we would not be able to rejoin the A6102 as we cannot turn right onto it from the A61. To continue, we have to turn right after the railway bridge at the bottom of the hill onto what was the B6079 (now renumbered as part of the A6102) and up to the roundabout with the A61. We then head straight onto Leppings Lane, past the back of the football ground, over the Don and the turn right to rejoin the A6102 to head for Oughtibridge, the speed limit rising to 40. The rest of the A6102 used to be the A616 before the Stocksbridge bypass was built.
We pass the Northern tip of Middlewood Road shops and then the very poor Winn Gardens estate, which suffered terribly from the June 2007 floods in this area. In fact, the section we are coming to next was closed for 17 months after the floods because of severe subsidence (one side of the road literally fell into the river) and only re-opened in December 2008. As a result, the surface is beautifully smooth until Oughtibridge. We drop back to 30 before passing through the village's one-way system and some shops on our right, before heading into a 50 mph zone. Again, this section had temporary traffic lights for months because of subsidence. We pass through woods before heading into a 40 mph zone for the small village of Wharncliffe Side; in fact we only skirt the edge of it before heading into NSL. The road is relatively fast (unless you get stuck behind a bus) from here to Stocksbridge and is constantly covered with trees. We come to a halt again at the traffic lights on the edge of Stocksbridge. The old A616 bears left and is now B6088. We bear right and head on a short section up to the A616, where we end at a grade-separated junction, unusual as both roads are S2. Here we can head east to the M1, west to Manchester or north on a short local road to Wortley.
Original Author(s): Haydn1971
|c1989||Greenland Road||Darnall Junction Improvement|
|1990||Broughton Lane||Widening for Sheffield Arena|
|1994||Attercliffe Common||Don Valley Link Stage 1|
|1995||Janson Street/Hawke Street/Upwell Street||Don Valley Link Stage 2|
|c1996||Greenland Road||Outer Ring Road Stage 3 & 4|