Monday, July 22, 2013

News: Major transport schemes in line for funding

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The Waverley Link Road could be back on track after it was named as one of a number of important transport schemes set to be put forward for government funding.

Through the "City Deal" with Government, the Sheffield City Region became one of only four places in the UK to secure a ten year allocation of funding for transport and infrastructure projects.

The Local Transport Body (LTB) has now assessed a number of key projects on their likely impact on economic growth and jobs for the area.

Included on the list is a bid for £45m for improvements around the important Waverley site in Rotherham including the Waverley Link Road, the widening of the Parkway to dual 3-lane and other community and green infrastructures and utility services to accelerate the delivery of the mixed use site.

On the site of the former Orgreave colliery, Harworth Estates is progressing the biggest brownfield site development in South Yorkshire, covering 741 acres, an area bigger than Sheffield city centre.

Over a development phase of 20 years, the site will see the establishment of a new community of around 4,000 homes, shops, restaurants, schools, leisure facilities, health and community centres and parks.

It also includes the Advanced Manufacturing Park and large areas of the region's Enterprise Zone.

The £8.57m Waverley Link Road was to be a 1.2 mile long single-carriageway joining Retford Road and Highfield Lane, but government funding was denied after the Woodhouse Mill Recreation Ground, which is owned by Sheffield Council, was dedicated as a "Queen Elizabeth II Field" and will be managed as a recreation ground / playing field for continued public benefit.

Also back in line for funding is the Southern Route of the Bus Rapid Transit scheme involving a high-frequency, limited stop service with new state-of-the-art vehicles that aimed to run from Sheffield city centre, along the Parkway to the proposed new development at Waverley and onto Rotherham Interchange. It is part of a shortlisted bid for £58m.

Other Rotherham projects include a scheme to increase road capacity in Parkgate, opening land at Parkgate Shopping with the potential for a park and ride facility at the new tram-train station. Further testing is needed to assess the scheme's potential impact.

Rotherham projects put forward focused on improving infrastructure in Maltby and the town centre have not made the list.

The analysis shows that, if the LTB were able to invest in all 19 schemes, the combined projects could boost the economy by between 5 and 7 billion pounds.

The list will be submitted to Government's Department for Transport later this month, and it will help the LTB to decide how best to invest local transport and infrastructure funds over the next ten years.

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and LTB Board member, said: "Local leaders are working together to make sure that we make the most effective investment decisions for the Sheffield City Region.

"The Government recognises that local decisions are better made by local leaders – who have a better idea about what is needed to stimulate economic growth and create sustainable jobs."

Sheffield City Region website

Images: SYPTE

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