Driving past Sheffield on Sunday 24 August?

So you've planned your journey and, as a belt and braces measure, you've checked the Highways Agency's Traffic Forecaster ( http://www.highways.gov.uk/jtdb/ser...West&date=24-08-2008&time=09am&go.x=13&go.y=9 and http://www.highways.gov.uk/jtdb/ser...orth&date=24-08-2008&time=09am&go.x=25&go.y=9 ) and confirmed that there ought to be no delays.


Two cooling towers, next to the Tinsley Viaduct, are to be demolished in the early hours of Sunday morning, causing the M1 to be shut until the Viaduct has been structurally examined to confirm that it hasn't suffered any damage.

Although the Highways Agency records that this event is happening in their Newsroom ( http://www.highways.gov.uk/news/pressrelease.aspx?pressreleaseid=164764 ), for some reason it doesn't show on the Forecaster.

If the structural inspection is going to be any more that just a cursory glance, I wouldn't be surprised if it runs into Monday at least.

I thought that the Tinsley Viaduct was structurally unsound, anyway. Wasn't that why it was reduced from six lanes to four just after it was opened?
This has been on the overhead matrix boards on the M6 for the last week warning of the closure, there should also be warnings on the M1 as well :wink:
Nothing seen on the bottom end of the M1 - perhaps they're more concerned with the ever-continuing story of the roadworks (should be finished by 2013, I believe, if J10-J13 ever goes ahead). Nothing seen either in the local press.

I use the A1 anyway from preference, but it looks like I could hit additional traffic if I decide to travel north on Sunday. People living much further north of me probably won't have much choice other than to follow the diversions, but the people further south will be a bit upset to find that they could have taken the alternative A1 route from the start and saved a few miles and probably much time in the process.

After all, it's only a Bank Holiday weekend when people will be travelling longer distances along less familiar roads.

I can appreciate that there's an argument that if things go wrong, the Monday morning work traffic will be less affected as fewer people willbe driving to work, but this Monday will also be the day when a lot more people will be on the M1 at widely varying times.

Better to have done the bang on an ordinary Saturday, methinks, although Meadowhall may disagree with this.

Still doesn't explain why the Highways Agency hasn't included the closure in the most-looked-at part of their site, though. And with the Bank Holiday weekend having started, any changes will be a bit too late for many people now.
The Highways Agency is advising drivers to plan their journeys and follow the clearly signed diversion routes when part of the M1 motorway is fully closed in South Yorkshire to allow for the safe demolition of the Tinsley cooling towers.

The motorway will be closed from around midnight on Saturday 23 / Sunday 24 August between junctions 32 and 35, to allow the redundant towers to be brought down safely in a controlled explosion. It is expected that the motorway will remain closed for most of Bank Holiday Sunday.

The A631 Tinsley Viaduct lower deck between, and including, the Tinsley and Meadowhall roundabouts will also be closed, as will a number of local roads in the area.

During the closure, clearly-signed diversion routes will be in place for motorway traffic:
* Long-distance northbound traffic will leave the M1 at Junction 32, join the M18 northbound and the M62 westbound, and rejoin the M1 at Junction 42, or access the local road network from the M18.
* Long-distance southbound traffic will leave the M1 at Junction 42, join the M62 eastbound and the M18 southbound, and rejoin the M1 at Junction 32, or access the local road network from the M18.
* Northbound local traffic will be able to access Junction 33 of the M1 by following a signed diversion route from the M1 at Junction 32 via the M18 Junction 1, and then via the A630 West Bawtry Road and the A629 New Wortley Road, to join the M1 northbound at Junction 35.
* Southbound local traffic should follow the signed diversion route from the M1 Junction 35 via the A629 Upper Wortley Road, the A630 Centenary Way, West Bawtry Road and the A630 Rotherway, to join the M1 at Junction 33.
* Stretches of the M1 immediately to the north and south of Tinsley Viaduct will reopen as soon as possible after demolition, once checks on the structure have been carried out. This will enable local traffic to be diverted between the Tinsley Viaduct northern and southern roundabouts at Junction 34 via diversion routes on the A6109 Meadowhall Road, Meadowhall Way and the A6178 Sheffield Road on the Sheffield (west) side of the viaduct. To the east of the viaduct, (Rotherham side) traffic will be diverted via the A6109 Meadowbank Road, A629 New Wortley Road, A630 Centenary Way and A6178 Sheffield Road.

These diversions are being implemented in order to limit any delays to road-users. Drivers are advised to avoid the area if possible, but for essential travel they should allow extra time for their journeys.

Up-to-date traffic information on the closure will be available on roadside electronic message signs, the Highways Agency's website at http://www.highways.gov.uk, by tuning in to Traffic Radio which is available on DAB digital and online at http://www.trafficradio.org.uk, or by listening to travel bulletins on local radio stations.

Arthur Ashburner, Divisional Director at the Highways Agency, said:

"This demolition is a unique situation and as far as we are aware, nowhere else in the world has anyone sought to bring down similar structures that sit so close to a major highway viaduct.

"Our priority is for the safety of road users and, given the close proximity of the towers to the southbound carriageway of the M1, these closures are essential.

"In order to limit any delays, the demolition is being done overnight on a Bank Holiday Sunday, when traffic levels are at their lowest. Nevertheless, we would advise drivers to avoid the area if at all possible, but if travel is essential, they should allow plenty of extra time for their journeys and follow the signed diversion routes from the M1.

"Once the demolition has taken place, we will carry out a series of checks to ensure that there has been no damage to the viaduct, which in itself may take several hours. We will re-open the road only when we are entirely satisfied that it is safe to do so.

"Throughout the closure, the Highways Agency will ensure that road users across the network are kept informed of the latest developments, and the expected time of re-opening."

The decision to close the M1 motorway was made following extensive discussions with E.ON, who own the towers, and consultations with South Yorkshire Police, local authorities and other agencies.

Local authorities are responsible for the closure of local routes. Information on these closures is available from http://www.sheffield.gov.uk, http://www.rotherham.gov.uk, and http://www.meadowhall.co.uk.
ex_monkey said:
Did you look here it's down on there advising motorists to avoid the area. :wink:
Yes, I found it - I quoted the link in a previous post. :roll: Though I only found it because, while looking for something else, I came upon the BBC article and decided that it would be an area best avoided.

But when you're interested in traffic information, you click on "Traffic Information." This eventually takes you to a map of your intended route and shows anticipated delays. In this case, the strech of the M1 around Sheffield is shown as being totally problem-free for the whole of Sunday.

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