Thursday, March 14, 2019

News: Funding boost SCR's active travel plans

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The Sheffield city region (SCR) will be able to get the wheels turning quickly on active travel schemes having secured £4.2m from the Government, although this is less than half of what it bid for.

In his Spring Statement, Philip Hammond, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, confirmed that £60m from the Transforming Cities Fund is being invested in ten cities across England.

Rothbiz reported in September that the Sheffield City Region (SCR) was one of ten areas to be shortlisted for a share of Government money to transform the way people travel.

A £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund was announced in the Autumn Budget 2017. The majority of the fund, to improve local transport connections, was divvied up to regions which had elected mayors, for them to control and spend as they see fit. As the SCR did not have an elected mayor at the time, the combined authority has had to bid into the remaining funds to get the cash to back its new transport strategy.

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At the heart of the SCR bid is the proposal to develop a new Global Innovation Corridor that stretches across the region, linking people to key sites including Sheffield city centre, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and Barnsley's Digital Campus. In addition, the bid seeks to improve connectivity for communities and businesses across the Dearne Valley.

The Government asked for submissions on schemes that can commence delivery before the end of March. In total, SCR bid for £9.3m from Government, to go alongside £6.3m in match funding. The total value of its six schemes was more than £15m.

In Rotherham, the plans are for a direct cycle route linking Greasbrough, Kimberworth and Wingfield to Rotherham town centre, as well as providing an early phase of a link to the planned Bassingthorpe Farm housing development, which comprises around 2,400 houses. This would involve an off-road cycle track for much of the route and an on-road section closer to the town. Side roads will be treated to provide priority for cyclists and pedestrians.

This bid is the first phase of transformative strategic cycling and walking infrastructure planned for Rotherham which will provide a step change in the way people access the town centre, growth zones and major interchanges.

Two region-wide schemes were also put forward. These involve retro-fitting buses with emission reduction systems to make them cleaner and greener, and also installing Real Time Information (RTI) at 45 bus stops to provide passengers with up-to-date public transport information.

Dan Jarvis, mayor of the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority, recently led a Westminster Hall debate about the importance of increasing regional transport infrastructure spend.

He said: "When we have strong transport networks in place around good economic infrastructure, we know that our communities can thrive. A prime example of this is the Great Yorkshire Way, which is a stretch of road built to link up Doncaster Sheffield Airport with the M18. The last mile of this road is probably the most significant for a decade.

"Because of private and public-sector investment, our region unlocked £1.8 billion of investment and created 1,200 jobs. We know that we can do it, but we can only achieve these great results if the Government support us."

SCR website

Images: SCR

1 comments:

Rod Laughton March 15, 2019 at 10:16 AM  

This will make it much better for the hundreds of people who I see cycling past my window from Kimberworth into town.... Yes, I’m being sarcastic... I rarely see a SINGLE person cycle past my window on Kimberworth Road... Another waste of money!

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