Monday, July 18, 2016

News: September start for delayed bus scheme

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A multimillion pound scheme that will see new faster transport connections developed between Sheffield and Rotherham, has been given the start date of September 2016, a year after originally planned.

In 2014, the £34.3m Sheffield to Rotherham Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme was facing the prospect of a 12 month delay and a near £8m cost increase due to "significant ground condition issues" at Tinsley.

The Northern route of the scheme aims to improve the links between Rotherham and Sheffield passing Meadowhall, the Lower Don Valley and Templeborough. With buses running every ten minutes, it aims help to foster economic growth along the corridor by helping people access jobs and opportunities.

The main feature is a £20m, alternative, all transport route which bypasses the congested M1 junction 34 South by providing a new section of highway beneath the Tinsley Viaduct and is currently under construction.

Initially programmed to start running in September 2015, a high quality, limited stop bus service is to provide faster, more frequent connections through the Lower Don Valley, reducing the snarl ups which occur at the busy junction 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.

Steve Edwards, executive director of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) told a recent meeting of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee: "The BRT North scheme will provide bus services in the corridor between Sheffield and Rotherham. That service is due to go into live operation on the fifth of September and will be providing transport connections to existing leisure, commercial and manufacturing facilities as well as facilitating economic growth, providing links to existing and proposed employment sites in the Lower Don Valley area."

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When bidding for funding, backers stated that it will help to unlock 4,000 jobs in the Lower Don Valley linked to schemes such as the River Don District, the Outokumpu site and areas of Templeborough in Rotherham. It includes areas benefiting from being in the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone.

The scheme is expected to generate an estimated £200m for the local economy each year, increase public transport patronage by 7,500 passengers per day, and reduce carbon emissions by 6,320 tonnes over 60 years.

With Sheffield City Council contracting Carillion to work on the Tinsley Link scheme, significant levels of asbestos was discovered, which had not been identified in surveys carried out before work began. The authority was forced to obtain a £2.3m loan to cash flow the project until local building developments generate earnings through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to repay the loan.

Now a bid has been approved for a further £4.2m from the Sheffield City Region's Local Growth Fund with a key part of the bid being the inclusion of the remediation required to address land contaminants discovered on site.

The scheme is being delivered in partnership by SYPTE, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Sheffield City Council.

Other funding has come via the European Union's European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Growing Places Fund from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, local developers such as British Land, and the South Yorkshire Local Transport Plan.

A start date is still unknown for the delayed £60m pilot project to run tram-train vehicles on both rail and tram networks between Rotherham and Sheffield.

SYPTE website

Images: J-Safe

1 comments:

Anonymous,  August 24, 2016 at 12:55 PM  

Has this scheme been cancelled?

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