Tuesday, December 8, 2020

News: Rotherham project to receive "reverse Beeching" funding


The regeneration of a former coalfield area of Rotherham could be in line for a boost after the Government got on board to provide a slice of its funding that is aimed at bringing underutilised rail routes back to life.

Rothbiz reported in July that three of the more than 50 proposals submitted to the £500m Restoring Your Railway Fund, involve underused lines in Rotherham.

A new station at the Waverley development has been successful in the second round of the Restoring Your Railway "Ideas Fund" that will progress plans to deliver new routes and improved connectivity, as well as developing plans for new stations to areas poorly served by public transport.

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 another bid, which is further developed, for the restoration of passenger services on the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield, which was successful in this first round of the Ideas Fund.

Entries have been specifically judged on their ability to deliver real economic benefits and support left-behind communities, with investment targeted at regenerating local economies by supporting new house developments; opening up access to jobs and education or; boosting tourism.

The Waverley project is one of 15 that will receive "up to £50,000" to accelerate plans.

A bid to restore passenger services on the South Yorkshire Joint Railway has not been successful in either rounds.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "For towns and villages left isolated and forgotten by Beeching cuts, restoring a rail line or a station has the potential to revitalise a community. It breathes new life into our high streets, drives investment in businesses and housing, and opens new opportunities for work and education.

"By building back with a real focus on better connections and supporting left-behind communities, we're delivering our promise to level up this country."

With regard to a potential new mainline station in Rotherham, it is hoped that it continues to be included in Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) – a network of new and significantly upgraded rail lines for the North of England. Statutory body, Transport for the North, recently agreed on an initial preferred way forward including initial route preferences. The Government’s Integrated Rail Plan is due to be published by the end of this year.

Images: Google Maps


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