Tuesday, March 8, 2016

News: Rotherham gets in line for new station fund

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Proposals for a brand new station to provide Rotherham with the rail connectivity it deserves are being worked up in an effort to help secure the £15m needed to build it.

The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) in partnership with Rotherham Council commissioned a study looking to identify the level of rail service required to support Rotherham's economic and transport needs.

As part of the study, benchmarking shows that Rotherham's economy is not as strong as comparable centres and its rail connectivity is not as good.

Despite the town's central station benefiting from a £8.5m redevelopment, the study concluded that the only practical and cost effective way to enhance rail connectivity to Rotherham is to consider providing a new railway station on the mainline to take advantage of services that currently pass through the borough but do not stop.

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The existing infrastructure via Rotherham Central cannot enable the desired connectivity and none of the options for upgrading this route represent value for money. Dualling the Holmes Chord, which could lead to an extra three trains per hour, would cost an estimated £32.3m. Realigning the main line through Rotherham Central could cost £161.3m.

With agreement that a new station is the only realistic way forward, further studies are being carried out with Rotherham Council including the potential new station in its capital investment strategy and the Government's New Stations Fund also identified as a source of funding. Developing the business case for a new Railway Station is considered a significant exercise.

A site at Parkgate is the frontrunner, which would cater for inter-regional services, in the form of a Parkway type station and would be complementary to the role of Rotherham Central. The study, carried out by JMP, indicates that the new station could benefit from direct services to Sheffield, Doncaster, Manchester and its airport, Cleethorpes, Hull, York, Newcastle, Reading and a potential new service to connect to Leeds.

Other initial locations for new station include the site of the council's depot at Greasbrough Road, Henry Boot's Parkgate development at Forge Way and even the mainline station at Masbrough that closed in 1987.

Tom Finnegan-Smith, transportation highways and projects manager at Rotherham Council said in a report: "A new station would deliver the service specification at a significantly lower cost than the option of upgrading the route via Rotherham Central. The Parkgate location offers the potential for a Parkway station that would help to stimulate development and regeneration in a number of areas surrounding the station site, as well as delivering the potential wider economic benefits of service improvements.

"Rotherham Central would continue to play an important role by providing key local connections, particularly Rotherham-Sheffield, which will be further enhanced by the development of the Tram-Train scheme which is due to open in early 2017."

As part of developing the case for the new station at Parkgate, work is also being carried out on the potential to connect to the Tram-Train system and a potential park & ride. Highway improvements, including a new link road between Aldwarke Lane and Parkgate Shopping, are also being developed that could open up the Stadium Developments site.

Images: AHR Global

3 comments:

Anonymous,  March 8, 2016 at 2:39 PM  

They say things always come round again . Usually at a cost!

Anonymous,  March 9, 2016 at 4:55 PM  

Masbrough should never of closed,& if this ever gets up and running should be the favoured location and reopen !

Anonymous,  March 9, 2016 at 4:57 PM  

Masbrough should be the location

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