Friday, November 22, 2019

News: Business case for £232m transport bid


A business case has been drafted to support ambitious proposals for the future of the Sheffield City Region's (SCR's) transport network before they are submitted to Government.

As reported by Rothbiz, the SCR has put together a bid to the Government's Transforming Cities Fund to back its new transport strategy.

The majority of the fund, to improve local transport connections, was divvied up by central Government 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.

A recent meeting of the Mayoral Combined Authority Board has reviewed the bid before it is submitted next week.

The bid, for up to £232m in funding (revised up from £220m), focuses on three large areas which could most benefit from significant improvements across rail, public transport and active travel schemes. The aim is to reduce journey times, cut congestion, improve punctuality and reliability, and bring about a wide range of benefits associated with active travel, such as improved health and wellbeing.

The draft business case states: "Improving intra-city region public transport and active travel connections will allow the SCR to realise its potential but to do this in a sustainable way that addresses current health issues and improves air quality."

It focuses on three key transit corridors – the Don Valley, Dearne Valley and Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID).


For Rotherham, the latest documents confirm the inclusion of these schemes:

- Connecting Maltby to the main urban centre of Rotherham and addressing a location of existing public transport delays through bus lanes and junction improvements, along with localised enhanced active travel routes within the corridor
- Rail station (and station access) improvements across the Dearne Valley corridor
- Providing better active travel routes to enable more walking and cycling into local town centres within the Dearne Valley
- Addressing locations of existing public transport delays on the A630 corridor
- Connecting the housing and employment growth area in the Dearne Valley to the local centre in Wath for active travel modes.
- Addressing locations of existing public transport delays around the A633 corridor
– A new second access to Parkgate Retail Park, as well as a new 300 space park and ride site for the tram-train terminus
- Promoting active travel use for accessing employment opportunities at the AMID and AMP from Rotherham town centre
- Providing better active travel routes to enable more walking and/or cycling through Rotherham town centre, including links to Forge Island – this will complement the current Tranche 1 scheme
- A new tram-train stop at Magna, facilitating a new 150 space park and ride site – this will help transform strategic connectivity to the Magna area and provide growth opportunities in the Templeborough/Sheffield Road area
- A new high quality segregated cycle route along the A6178 Sheffield Road to help support active travel links between Rotherham, Meadowhall and Sheffield
- Addressing locations where existing public transport delays limit access to employment opportunities
- Promoting active travel for accessing employment opportunities
- A trial of low emission buses to reduce emissions within the Clean Air Zone, providing the groundwork for future roll-out of electric buses

Potential schemes would be alongside the widening of the Parkway, proposed new rail stations in the borough and making the tram-train pilot permanent with possible extensions. Also being discussed are additional routes between Sheffield and Rotherham without the need for drivers to pass through existing busy motorway junctions.

The draft business case provides more details of the proposals for Parkgate: "It is proposed to transform this corridor by introducing a new link road into the retail park which will form an alternative entrance and exiting from the A6123 [Aldwarke Lane]. This will relieve traffic on the A633. A complementary park and ride site will also be introduced in the retail park to serve the successful tram-train service between Parkgate, Rotherham and Sheffield and to further reduce the number of vehicles travelling along the A633 through Parkgate. These measures will also enable amendments to the major A633/A6123 roundabout to benefit public transport."

The new tram-train stop at Magna is designed to relieve major congestion between Rotherham and Sheffield particularly at the Junction 34 of the M1 and also help to improve air quality.

Full business cases are expected to be developed in February

SCR website

Images: Sheffield Business Park / Bond Bryan


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