Tuesday, July 7, 2020

News: Possible restoration for Rotherham rail routes

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A number of underutilised rail routes passing through the Rotherham borough could be brought back to life as the Government looks to reopen lines and stations closed during the Beeching cuts.

The Department for Transport launched a £500m Restoring Your Railway Fund and invited MPs, local councils and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use funding to reinstate axed local services and restore closed stations.

Of the more than 50 proposals submitted, three involve underused lines in Rotherham.

The South Yorkshire Joint Railway, championed by Rother Valley MP, Alexander Stafford, runs from Worksop through to Doncaster, and was created to serve collieries on the way. Stations include Anston, Dinnington and Laughton, Maltby and Tickhill and Wadworth. It opened to freight on in 1909, and to passengers in 1910. It is now only used for freight services.

Stafford, who has raised the issue in Parliament, said: "Improving connectivity is a critical part of Boris's levelling up agenda and I will continue pushing to see our buses and trains improved."

Another submission is based around a new station at Waverley, one of the UK's most important brownfield regeneration projects which includes a new community of up to 3,890 homes alongside the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

The potential station was one of a number of proposals for improving rail services in Rotherham that featured in a new strategic plan launched last year by the Sheffield city region (SCR).

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The bid centres on a new Waverley Station on the Sheffield-Lincoln Line (which skirts the Southern edge of the Waverley site and also serves Kiveton) and is linked to the third bid, which is further developed, for the restoration of passenger services on the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield.

Whilst the South Yorkshire Joint Railway and Waverley bids have only recently been submitted, the Barrow Hill bid was successful in this first round of the Ideas Fund.

Sheffield City Region Combined Authority papers explain: "The restoration proposal for the Barrow Hill Line is to allow passenger services to use the current freight route between the Sheffield-Worksop-Lincoln Line and the Midland Main Line and as an alternative means of connecting Sheffield and Chesterfield. This will provide an opportunity to link existing communities with limited public transport to these employment hubs. The line reinstatement would also support existing strategic housing allocations at Waverley in Rotherham and a number of potential future allocations within the Sheffield Local Plan."

Services would run between Sheffield Victoria or Sheffield Midland, along the existing Sheffield-Worksop-Lincoln line as far as Beighton before transferring to the restored route as far as Tapton Junction where they would join the Midland Mainline for a short stretch into Chesterfield.

The Combined Authority is already working up wider plans to improve the infrastructure around Waverley and is also looking at how it can expand the success of the AMP into a wider innovation corridor.

Absent from the recent authority or government documents is an update on a potential new Rotherham Mainline Station.

Images: Google Maps

3 comments:

Anonymous,  July 8, 2020 at 9:41 PM  

Lots of potential, if these schemes ever get going! Sadly as last paragraph says no news about the mainline station, probably been forgot about!

Rod July 9, 2020 at 1:46 PM  

I think the mainline station will never happen. Would it be used? There were only 13 or 14 official objections to the closing of Masbrough in 1987... so can the people of Rotherham complain? For the record, I was one of the 13/14 who officially objected and attended the public inquiry in November 1987 at the old Arts Centre in Walker Place.

Anonymous,  July 10, 2020 at 12:16 AM  

Think there is need for mainline services more now than back then. People work allover country and there are contractors from allover country work here in Rotherham.Its a little senseless having mainline services go through town and not stop. Why should we have to go to either Sheffield or Doncaster for mainline service?

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