VIDEO: New £56m FARRRS route makes Doncaster Airport ‘credible’ - see amazing drone footage of road under construction

From left, Richard Wright, Ciara o'Connor, Peter O'Mara and Steve Gill.
From left, Richard Wright, Ciara o'Connor, Peter O'Mara and Steve Gill.

The FARRRS link road is expected to provide a three per cent boost to the Sheffield City Region economy and slash journey times to the airport afer it opens in January 2016.

The Aer Lingus decision to restart flights to Dublin in May - eight months earlier - is a big step on the way to making Doncaster the “credible airport of choice for Sheffield City Region,” according to managing director Steve Gill.

He and his team have been far more proactive in lobbying airlines since the recession and their efforts are starting to bear fruit, with seven new routes in the last year.

He said: “I’m really delighted, in the last year we have really concentrated our efforts and the business is increasingly attractive to airlines.”

But the airport’s business model – which includes a £150m investment by owners Peel Group – is based on a “transformation” created by the FARRRS link road when it opens in January 2016.

It is set to slash journey times from Sheffield city centre to 25 minutes, while six million people will be an hour’s drive away or less.

“The board reacquired the airport from Vantage in 2012 with the belief that it had a future. We have contributed £12m to the new road and we are continuing to invest because we still believe,” he added.

The £56m scheme is predicted to spark £1.7bn of private sector investment by 2020, help create 1m sq ft of business space, 20,000 jobs and 5,000 homes, says Jo Miller, Doncaster council chief executive.

She added: “Given this is the place the original Pilgrim Fathers came from, it feels absolutely right to have flights from Doncaster to Boston. We are the gateway to Yorkshire.

“There is a great shared love of horse racing with the Irish, 100,000 of whom come as tourists, contributing £20m to the economy every year.”

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber, said the new route justified the backing the region’s chambers had given to the airport.

He added: “Poor connectivity can really hold back economic growth.”

* The Drone footage was shot by Keyhole Visuals of Bawtry for a short film commissioned by Doncaster Chamber for its awards in December.