Friday, July 19, 2019

News: Rotherham rail improvements in new strategic plan

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A number of proposals for improving rail services in Rotherham feature in a new strategic plan launched by the Sheffield city region (SCR), including a long-discussed new mainline station.

A 2015 study showed that rail connectivity in Rotherham is not as good as other centres and the only practical and cost effective way to enhance connectivity is to consider providing a new railway station on the mainline, costing around £14m.

A 2018 study added that new stations in Rotherham and in the Dearne Valley on a proposed "Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR)" line could boost the economic benefits from HS2.

Now a vision for how the SCR will be better connected by both high speed and conventional rail networks into the future - regionally, across the North, and nationally - includes the creation of a new Midland Main Line station in Rotherham.

Other Rotherham ambitions include:

- making the tram train service between Sheffield and Rotherham permanent
- extending the tram train network from Rotherham to Swinton, Doncaster and the airport to release capacity for NPR on the main line
- new tram train services to Waverley and other strategic housing areas such as a spur to Aston and Aughton
- a new rail station serving, businesses and communities in the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) at Waverley
- A park and ride expansion at Parkgate
- a new tram-train station and associated park and ride facilities at Magna
- improvements at the Kiveton stations

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The plan also confirms a preferred location on a site in Goldthorpe for a proposed new Barnsley Dearne Valley railway station. This parkway station and a new mainline station are set to be progressed through NPR and not HS2. A northern spur out of Sheffield has yet to be confirmed and an upgrade and electrification would be required of the Dearne Valley Line through Rotherham for NPR/HS2.

No location has been given for a new Rotherham mainline station but it is expected to be on the edge of the town centre.

The plan states: "Rotherham has not benefited from intercity rail connectivity since the late 1980s when Masbrough station was closed. Currently, local connections to Sheffield and Doncaster are available with an hourly, hour long service to Leeds.

"Restoring the provision of fast, reliable and high quality intercity connections allied to a new station on the mainline rail network, would fundamentally transform the developable proposition of companies seeking to invest in Rotherham.

"A new mainline station in the central Rotherham area, developed with a suitable masterplan, will ensure that the area plays an important economic development role for the city region."

Dan Jarvis, mayor of the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority, said: "This is a landmark moment for our region. For the first time, Government, regional partners and our local authorities have come together to welcome a vision for the future of our rail services, creating a Plan that will revolutionise rail travel for our communities."

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council, added: "I cautiously welcome today's proposals, which move forward a number of significant projects for the borough that have been under consideration for a long time. A new mainline station in a central area of the borough, returning intercity connections for the first time in thirty years, would help to undo decades of damage to Rotherham's rail connectivity.

"If done correctly, it would create significant opportunities to improve access to jobs and encourage economic development. A new station to connect Waverley and the Advanced Manufacturing Park would not only relieve pressure on the local road network but also open up access to job opportunities from the south of the borough, and making permanent and extending the tram train pilot will be critical to ensure many existing journeys are not stopped as a consequence of HS2.

"We have argued throughout that any rail plan must ensure that travellers using all the existing stations in the borough would see improvements and not reductions in service. However, in relation to HS2, I want to be clear that these proposals do not change the Council's position. The so-called M18 route is not to Rotherham's advantage, it will bring years of disruption during construction, and it should be scrapped."

SCR website

Images: Google Maps / SYPTE

1 comments:

Anonymous,  July 19, 2019 at 1:26 PM  

Good news that Rotherham will get a mainline station giving nationwide services, as for the HS2,its starting to look more and more doubtful that it will happen, I work on Railway and know many works connected to the project are getting suspended, its a white elephant and an expensive one, cancel it!

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