Friday, April 13, 2012

News: Cash boost for Sheffield to Rotherham BRT scheme


The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) board has approved £3m of funding from its Growing Places Fund for the Sheffield and Rotherham Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme.

The Northern route of the BRT scheme aims to improve the links between Rotherham and Sheffield passing Meadowhall, the Lower Don Valley and Templeborough.

The £34.3m project aims help to foster economic growth along the corridor by helping people access jobs and opportunities.

The joint bid by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), Sheffield City Council and Rotherham Borough Council, secured the funding that will be used to cover future private sector contributions. The scheme secured £19.4m from the government last year and the remainder of costs are to be met by the European Regional Development Fund, local developers such as British Land, and the SYPTE.

Bidders hope 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. Areas expected to benefit from the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone.

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "The BRT will be key to improving transport to and from new businesses setting up at Enterprise Zone sites around junction 34 of the M1.

"Growing Places Funding is giving important development projects across the Sheffield City Region the boost they need to deliver real economic and social benefits to residents and businesses.

"Growing Places is helping the LEP to concentrate its efforts where it matters locally, which means better value for money and real improvements for our communities and our economy."

David Young, director of customer experience at SYPTE, said: "We are delighted to receive news of this Growing Places funding from the LEP, which represents an important step forward in our ongoing commitment to providing a sustainable transport network across South Yorkshire.

"These improvements will be invaluable in terms of enabling economic growth, strengthening local communities, providing better access to jobs and services, and reducing congestion."

The scheme involves a high-frequency, limited stop service with new state-of-the-art vehicles. 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. The link road already has planning permission.

Full approval for the scheme is expected to come next summer with services starting in 2015.

The Southern route of the BRT scheme looks to have stalled with the Department for Transport (DFT) stating last year that it would only consider the business case for the Northern route. The Southern route aimed to run from Sheffield city centre, along the Parkway to the proposed new development at Waverley and onto Rotherham Interchange.

SYPTE website

Images: SYPTE


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