Tuesday, December 13, 2016

News: Sheffield-Rotherham BRT North scheme officially launched


The £30m Sheffield - Rotherham Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme has been officially launched with a ceremony at the newly constructed "Blackburn Meadows Way" link road under J34 of the M1.

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 new X1 Steel Link service, operated by First Bus, started using the route in September.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport Andrew Jones MP (pictured, left), said: "This new link between Sheffield and Rotherham will cut congestion, improve journeys, help create thousands of jobs and boost the regional economy.

"Up to two million passengers are expected to use it in its first year alone, this shows how vital good bus services are to our communities."

The main feature of the scheme 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.

In 2014, the scheme was facing the prospect of a 12 month delay and a near £8m cost increase due to "significant ground condition issues" at Tinsley.


Initially programmed to start running in September 2015, the bid included 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 is also expected to help unlock the redevelopment potential of the area, which is being restricted by the traffic problems on the present road system.

Stephen Edwards, executive director at SYPTE (pictured, right), said: "BRT North is vital to meet local transport demands and support economic growth. The frequent connections and dedicated bus routes it offers between the centres of Rotherham and Sheffield is providing customers with flexibility, improved capacity and a high-quality, reliable public transport option."

Martin McKervey, partner at Nabarro LLP and lead board member for transport at the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, added: "Sheffield City Region partners are working together to create a thriving, super-connected and successful economy and the opening of this vital new link under the motorway at Tinsley is further evidence of what we can achieve when we work together.

"This investment, which has taken 325,000 person hours in construction, will ease congestion on the M1, and provides infrastructure for a high quality, modern and reliable bus service. This road better connects key economic areas of Rotherham and Sheffield and is welcome news to businesses and residents across our city region. This gives a real boost to economic growth and jobs as part of our shared ambition to build a centre of economic excellence."

Delivered by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Sheffield City Council, funding has come from the Government, councils, the local enterprise partnership's Growing Place Fund and Local Growth Fund, and via the European Union's European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), local developers such as British Land, and the South Yorkshire Local Transport Plan.

When bidding for funding, backers stated that it will help to unlock 4,000 jobs in the Lower Don Valley. It should support schemes such as the Olympic Legacy Park, River Don District, the Outokumpu site and areas of Templeborough in Rotherham.

SYPTE website

Images: SYPTE


Neil,  December 13, 2016 at 11:50 AM  

Whilst the route, I'm sure, is marvellous, it's just embarrassing to be "opening" it a quarter year after it started operating. Seriously, don't the officials "opening" it feel ridiculous? They're three months late.

Unknown December 13, 2016 at 3:43 PM  

In 12 months time I'd like to see a survey which will tell us how many people travel TO Rotherham as opposed to how many travel FROM Rotherham using the Bus Link then we'll know whether or not RMBC has invested our money in another White Elephant.

Anonymous,  December 14, 2016 at 9:09 AM  

Well the project is a year late and millions over budget anyway. The X1 is not exactly rapid either. Give us a 20 minute limited stop service between Sheffield and Rotherham until the tram trains eventually start.

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