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    Traffic in Tickhill


Some photographs of the Market Place taken before the Library was built in 1908 and of Sunderland Street looking west towards the Scarbrough Arms show practically no traffic. There would have been some wagons, carts, carriages and traps on the roads, with bicycles making an appearance from the 1890s. Even this traffic would have been minimal on Sundays. With the coming of motorised vehicles, Tickhillís main roads experienced heavy traffic at certain times. In a College survey completed by Dennis Stables in 1943, he noted that pre-war busy times were when day trip buses returned from the East coast to Rotherham and Sheffield. One such excursion in 1938 had forty buses. On Sunday evenings too, the route from Bawtry to Sheffield was crowded with cyclists and motorists heading west from the seaside. Doncaster Race Week also generated heavy traffic in the mornings and early evenings in Tickhill, to the extent that three policemen were put on point duty at the Spital, Market Place and near the Travellers Rest. Post-war traffic increased in summer months too, when private cars and coaches undertook leisure-related travel.  

Dennis Stables carried out a traffic survey in 1943 and this can be compared with one undertaken in 1957 by Janet Sully, also for a College assignment. Both surveys involved counting vehicles passing through the Market Place.

Survey lasting 40 minutes between 9.20 a.m. and 2.50 p.m. on 1 March 1943           

Lorries    Cars    Vans   Bicycles    Motorcycles    Buses   Farm Machinery                                           

  15           10           0         33               0              5               2

Survey lasting 60 minutes between 10.55 a.m. and 11.55 a.m. on 5 April 1957          

Lorries    Cars    Vans   Bicycles    Motorcycles    Buses   Farm Machinery

116         100         61         32                8               8               5

Even though the 1943 survey was only two thirds the length of the 1957 survey, a considerable difference can be seen in the volume of lorries, cars and vans, as traffic grew after the war. Bicycles were clearly popular in 1943. Stables noted that milk was delivered by two or three girls on bicycles. A half-hourly bus service between Doncaster and Worksop featured in both surveys, as did a bus service from Doncaster to Tickhill via Bawtry and Harworth. A comparatively new bus service in 1957 connected Rotherham, Maltby, Tickhill and Harworth every two hours but this service was not very reliable. As anyone trying to cross Sunderland Street now on a weekday can attest, the east-west route through Tickhill is heavily used by private and commercial vehicles, with lorries coming from overseas as well as from the local region. What would an hourís traffic survey in the Market Place reveal nowadays?         


Thanks to the family of the late Dennis Stables for allowing the Society to copy his paper, and to Mrs Janet Sully for donating her paper to the Societyís Archive.

















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