Thursday, November 21, 2013

News: City region welcomes transport funding

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Transport chiefs in the Sheffield city region have welcomed millions of pounds of central Government funding which will see new faster transport connections developed between Sheffield and Rotherham.

Last week the Department for Transport confirmed a maximum of £15.9m for the Sheffield and Rotherham Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme and the full (final) approval means that work on the scheme can begin.

An additional £13.9m has been made available from a number of other sources to deliver the project, including a contribution of over £8m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The route will use dedicated, high quality low emission vehicles operating at a ten minute frequency which will be granted priority on the roads. Other work includes highway modifications and revised junction layouts and intelligent traffic signal controls.

Under the plan a new link road will be built under Tinsley Viaduct to allow a high quality, limited stop bus service to run from Rotherham to Sheffield from September 2015. It will see faster, more frequent connections through the Lower Don Valley, reducing the snarl ups which occur at the busy junction 34 south of the M1. It will also help unlock the redevelopment potential of the area, which is being restricted by the traffic problems on the present road system.

David Young, SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General and Director of Customer Experience, said: "We are delighted to have received confirmation of funding for BRT which will improve the transport offer to people travelling between Sheffield and Rotherham, but which will also help to relieve the congestion problems which are limiting redevelopment of the area. Together with the planned Tram-Train pilot the BRT project will help to link and grow the two key economies of Rotherham and Sheffield. The time to put these in place is now."

Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, said it was "great news" for both Rotherham and the Lower Don Valley. 

He added: "This scheme has been a long time in the planning, but the funding has now come through and people in both Rotherham and Sheffield can look forward to a fast, modern link via the Don Valley. It will not only cut the journey time down between the two destinations but will also relieve congestion and improve the potential for new jobs across this particular area." 

Dominic Beck, Policy & External Affairs Executive at Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, added: "This is great news for bus users between Sheffield and Rotherham who will benefit from quicker, more reliable services. Buses are a major link for many people and help drive economic growth. It should also ease congestion around what has been a troublesome hotspot at Meadowhall.

"This £16m of investment will help unlock the next planned phases of development in the Lower Don Valley and create up to 4,400 new jobs."

SYPTE website

Images: SYPTE

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