Wednesday, July 21, 2021

News: Further delay to publication of Government’s Integrated Rail Plan


Key to large scale transport interventions in the the North, ihe Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) will not be published prior to parliamentary recess and will now be delayed until September 2021 at the earliest.

Rothbiz reported in March how the much anticipated document is expected to set out the long-term investment plans for the North’s rail upgrades as well as details on how the projects will be delivered.

It is hoped that a new mainline station in Rotherham is somewhere within the plans.

Sub-national transport body. Transport for the North (TfN) has now updated its members that the plan, first expected by the end of 2020, will now not be published prior to the parliamentary summer recess, commencing on July 22 2021.

TfN has agreed its final recommendations for the new Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR - a rapid, reliable and resilient rail network between the North's six biggest cities and other economic centres) but at request of the Department for Transport, TfN has agreed to delay submitting the business case until the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan has been published.

Board papers state: "The earliest possible SOC [Strategic Outline Case for NPR] – based on the earliest possible IRP after summer recess and the most minimal changes to modelling and the SOC drafting - would now be submitted 12 months later than previously programmed (March 2022), but potentially much later. This would in turn result in delays to the programme and start of construction, meaning that the potential gains in the programme to be made by rephasing the SOC will be outstripped by the continued delays to the IRP, delaying the step-change in connectivity, delivering transformational, clean, economic growth across the North of England brought about by Northern Powerhouse Rail."

The South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis, said: "“We’ve now been waiting for eight months to see the Integrated Rail Plan. This ongoing delay is completely unacceptable.

"As a consequence, we’re being asked to make impossible decisions about vital rail links, such as that between Sheffield and Manchester Airport, without even seeing the government’s list of rail investment projects.

"This continued delay further fuels the suspicion that what is being planned falls far short of the promises that were made. Indeed, after a certain point, delay starts to send a strong message of its own.

“I struggle to see how this government can claim to be serious about ‘levelling up’ the North, when there are so many question marks about something as basic as improving rail connections between our towns and cities.

"We desperately need the Government to provide clarity on their plans for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail serving our region. They’re prolonging the uncertainty for businesses and people living on the proposed HS2 route in the North.”

The Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) put forward a number of high profile schemes and projects where it believes the Government should intervene.

Interventions include things like the HS2 "Northern Loop" out of Sheffield to Leeds, completing the electrification of the Midland Mainline and a national rail connection to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

It also includes: "A new NPR station on the Midland Mainline at Rotherham which will significantly enhance regional and national rail connectivity for Rotherham and open up development opportunities. This should be integrated with the tram-train network to connect to the town centre."

SCR documents show that TfN is also proposing a new NPR station on the main line at Rotherham to support the economic regeneration of the town.

A new mainline station for Rotherham and a Barnsley Dearne Valley parkway station are set to be progressed through NPR and not HS2. A location for the Rotherham station is expected to be in Parkgate.

Images: HS2 Ltd


Anonymous,  July 21, 2021 at 12:25 PM  

Been said a thousand times,but they should never have closed Rotherham Masborough station.

Rod July 21, 2021 at 5:24 PM  
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Anonymous,  July 22, 2021 at 8:04 AM  

Yes It should be Masbrough only a couple of mins drive from town etc.
Most of the roads around Parkgate are already congested, does anyone actually know the proposed location in Parkgate?

Anonymous,  July 22, 2021 at 9:51 AM  

I believe the proposed location is the end of Beale Way, around the back of The Range, B&M etc.

However I agree, it should be at Masbrough with the old bus depot converted to a park and ride instead of being left to rot as it is now.

Rod July 22, 2021 at 11:29 AM  
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Anonymous,  July 23, 2021 at 7:59 AM  

Given the large volume of leisure, retail and employment at Parkgate it is a much more suitable location for a station. It may help eleviate some conjestion if people switch to rail transport, and is more likely to be commercialy viable given the high foot fall.

Anonymous,  July 23, 2021 at 12:13 PM  

I doubt many people will get the train to go shopping at Parkgate so I'm not sure how it will alleviate congestion in that area.

Michael,  July 23, 2021 at 3:48 PM  

Large numbers of people travel by train to Meadhowhall from the surrounding stations, so it is a reasonable assumption that people would use this option if it were available at Parkgate. These people would currently travel there by Car, Bus or Taxi, so a train option would reduce some of this traffic. In conjunction with the planned road improvements around Parkgate this would be a massive improvement. Reopening the old Train Station would not help as it is not located where people are travelling to. If the old station was to reopen people would still be reliant on road transportation to get to the shopping areas.

Rod July 24, 2021 at 7:47 AM  
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Anonymous,  July 24, 2021 at 8:43 PM  

Parkgate isn't Meadowhall though. The vast marjority of Parkgate customers will live in the Rotherham area and there are hardly any stations within the Rotherham Borough for them to get on a train to Parkgate. Only Swinton and Bolton on Dearne are on the same line.

Having a Mainline station in Rotherham will be less about people coming in, but more about where people can go. For instance, the journey time to Leeds at the minute is a joke, You could drive there and back in the time it takes by rail. Open a park and ride at Masbrough on the mainline and Leeds suddenly becomes a reasonable commute.

Anonymous,  July 24, 2021 at 10:16 PM  

Since train station is a synonym of railway station either are perfectly acceptable in the UK. I am unsure what relevance your comment added to a debate about location, but thank you for sharing your opinion.

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