Mallard to welcome visitors to Doncaster
A sculpture of the world famous Mallard locomotive is set to welcome visitors heading into Doncaster.
The 8metre long by 5metre high steel silhouette of Mallard in full steam marks the official completion of the Doncaster Southern Gateway Improvement Scheme.
It will be positioned prominently in the central reserve on the approach to the Potteric Carr junction on the A6182 White Rose Way just off junction 3 of the M18. Lighting will ensure motorists see the welcome to Doncaster feature during the day and into the evening.
Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, built and maintained at Doncaster Plant Works and brought into service on 3 March 1938, 4468 Mallard – a London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Class A4 Pacific – still holds the official speed record for a steam locomotive at 126mph.
Commenting on the official completion of the scheme, Councillor Bill Mordue, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “Doncaster has a rich railway heritage with some of the finest locomotives ever to grace our railways designed and built right here in the town. With rail engineering continuing to blossom today it is fitting that this key gateway into Doncaster recognises, Mallard, one of the world’s iconic and much loved locomotives.
Cllr Mordue continued: “This important infrastructure project has significantly improved access and created the right impression of a new look Doncaster as people approach the town. Various new developments like housing at Carr Lodge have started and further investment is expected around the town centre and Lakeside as the untapped potential of prime sites is unlocked thanks to the scheme. The new route is a key driver of jobs and growth across the borough.”
Chris Campbell, the local artist who designed the sculpture, said: “Having been asked to propose a design it became apparent that the idea of using an image of Mallard was a very popular one, rather than installing a standard ‘Welcome to Doncaster’ sign.
“By focusing on the iconic shape of the locomotive, making two silhouettes and displacing them, gives this idea of apparent motion. For the sign to work it had to be big. It’s 8m long and 5m high, almost the size of the real Mallard. It’s painted in the traditional ‘garter blue’ and has the standard black markings. The sculptural element was fabricated using traditional techniques that were used some 75 years ago when Mallard was built.
“By placing Mallard at this strategic point to mark the completion of this key route it has honoured the industry and heritage of Doncaster.”
The improvements have seen the entire route become a dual carriageway and Mallard Bridge built which spans 17 railway lines including the East Coast Mainline – the line Mallard broke the speed record on. Two roundabouts were replaced with intelligent signalised junctions and additional facilities were created for pedestrians and cyclists.
The council led project, built by Balfour Beatty Regional Civil Engineering, attracted £10million of investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development and £9.7million from the Department for Transport (DfT).
To fulfil the requirements of the ERDF funding, the project needed to signify that White Rose Way is a major gateway into Doncaster. The Mallard sculpture replaces the previous Welcome to Doncaster feature which used to adorn the old Potteric Carr roundabout.