Monday, June 13, 2016

News: Sheffield city region to bid for transport mega projects

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Proposals are being developed in the hope of securing millions in Government funding for massive transport projects in the Sheffield city region (SCR).

The Department for Transport (DfT) has invited Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to bid into a £475m Large Local Major Schemes fund, which forms part of the Local Growth Fund and was announced in the 2016 Budget. The purpose is to fund "exceptionally large, transformational schemes that are too big to be taken forward within regular growth allocations and could not otherwise be funded."

The criteria mean that for the Sheffield city region, the minimum scheme size is £75m.

The SCR Executive team took on transport strategy from the SYPTE and has been working on which large transport schemes fit the funding criteria.

They are:

- SCR Mass Transit Phase 1 - a massive replacement, refurbishment and possible extension of the Sheffield Supertram system
- Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) - Namely addressing congestion at J33-J34 of the M1
- Pan Northern Connectivity - a new Trans-Pennine through route linking the SCR with Manchester and the Humber ports

Funding has been allocated in order for the business cases to be worked up and the LEP and Combined Authority are being asked to sign off the potential bids before the submission deadline in July. Decisions on successful projects could come at the Autumn statement 2016..

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The concession for running the Supertram sytem, currently held by operator, Stagecoach, ends in 2024. Securing further Government funding for refurbishment would ensure that it could run for another 30 years.

Opened in 1994, Sheffield's Supertram system cost a reported £240m and now serves major residential and employment sites in Sheffield. A delayed tram-train pilot project is set to bring new vehicles to Rotherham in 2017.

The SYPTE had a deficit of £30.5m on its general reserve budget relating to part of the construction of the Sheffield tram network and extended loans in 2014 that will mean it will still be paying for initial work into 2034.

A major programme of rail replacement works on the network is also underway, with the majority of work being undertaken during the next five years at an estimated capital cost of £32m. The latest part sees £1m via the LEP set to be used on a £4m project to replace 3.3km of track from Sheffield city centre to Gleadless Townend.

The latest scheme covers the replacement of assets that are reaching the end of their economic life, including the replacement of the existing fleet of vehicles. This scheme also forms the foundation to allow future tram/tram train based mass transit extensions to support key growth areas across the SCR with enhanced connectivity.
The AMID involves "supercharging" the areas of advanced manufacturing in the Sheffield-Rotherham Economic Corridor. Based around the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and surrounding Enterprise Zone, the aim is to develop Europe's largest research-led advanced manufacturing cluster.

A potential £600m centre of excellence in metals and materials manufacturing would include campus developments and industrial space and connect the AMP area, key companies in the broader Don Valley, and the city centres. The transport project involves providing high quality access to AMID, supporting and enabling growth.

Multimillion pound work has taken place to widen exit slip roads and roundabouts at J33 and Rotherham's capital strategy includes a £45m plan to widen the Parkway to three lanes between the M1 and Catcliffe. Development is also being constrained by J34 at Meadowhall.

The Pan Northern Connectivity project aims to unlock constrained development across the north through a new east-west corridor to the Humber ports, building on and enhancing the case for the trans Pennine tunnel from Manchester to the M1. In addition to developing sections of new carriageway to the Humber ports, it will focus on how the whole of the SCR could access a potential Trans-Pennine tunnel.

Images: SYPTE / AMRC / Bond Bryan

3 comments:

Richard Goddard June 13, 2016 at 11:14 AM  

Everythings always about Sheffield. Will this SCR ever actually be about any other town.

Lewis Skinner June 14, 2016 at 1:21 PM  

M1 Jct 33 - Rotherham
AMP - Rotherham
Tram-train - bringing trams to Rotherham

Nope. All for Sheffield though

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