Tuesday, July 27, 2021

News: Plans progress for Magna Park & Ride


Plans for a £6.65m project to introduce a new tram-train stop on the existing network with a new Park & Ride site at Magna in Rotherham are coming down the line.

Rothbiz revealed in 2019 that the Magna project had been included in a bid to secure over £200m from the Government's Transforming Cities Fund (TCF). The Sheffield City Region (SCR) secured £166m with the Templeborough scheme picked out by the Government for funding.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) is promoting the project and is currently developing a full business case whilst launching a consultation to help to shape and inform the scheme design and operational requirements.

The overall aim is to create a realistic alternative to the car for journeys between Rotherham and Sheffield, improve connectivity for the Magna Science & Adventure Park and wider Templeborough area and increase tram-train patronage thereby contributing to the longer-term viability of the Supertram service.

The proposed scheme will link to Rotherham Council’s proposals for an active travel corridor between Rotherham town centre and Tinsley and Sheffield City Council’s proposals for walking and cycling links continuing to Meadowhall.

Starting services in 2018, passengers in South Yorkshire were the first in the country to benefit from the innovative tram-train pilot project where special vehicles use pioneering technology to run on both Sheffield's tramlines and the rail network in Rotherham.

Network Rail will be responsible for development of the design and construction of the new 30 metre tram-train stop. A Network Rail scheme at Rotherham Central was hampered by delays and their work on the heavy rail modifications also delayed the tram-train scheme.

This is the first through stop on the tram-train route which will be served exclusively by Supertram services. Meaning its design will be unique and differ to a standard mainline station, typically found on the National Rail network.

Consultation documents explain: "The building of two new staggered, low level Tram Train platforms at Magna Science & Adventure Centre - one for each running line, connected by an accessible footbridge with lifts and stairs - with passenger information, lighting, CCTV and passenger shelters. A separation fence between the running lines will dissuade trespass onto the railway from the low-level platforms."

In addition, the scheme includes the introduction of a new 100–150 space Park & Ride within the existing Science & Adventure Centre park.

SCR documents show that Magna are very receptive to the scheme and that "a 100-year lease over the land required for the P+R (and its access) at peppercorn rates is likely to be agreed."

A completion date of April 2023 is mentioned.

SYPTE Director of Transport Operations, Pat Beijer, said: “Passengers in South Yorkshire are the first in the UK to benefit from pioneering Tram Trains, and we’re seeking your views to help shape this ambitious project - the first to grow the network since it opened in 2018. The important proposals aim to improve connectivity between local neighbourhoods and centres. We hope the new Tram Train stop and Park & Ride will help to address traffic congestion and air quality in the area, particularly at Junction 34 of the M1, by encouraging people to think about choosing public transport and active travel over private cars.”

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment, Cllr Dominic Beck, said: “We want everyone in Rotherham to have sustainable, convenient and affordable travel options – and public transport is central to that. This scheme stands to benefit us all by reducing traffic congestion and harmful emissions, so I encourage everyone who lives in, works in or travels through this area to examine the proposals, and help make the most of this investment.”

Route Director for Network Rail’s North and East route, Matt Rice, added: “The proposed Tram Train stop would improve connectivity for local businesses, visitors to Magna Science & Adventure Centre and people living in the Rotherham area, with better access to a fast, clean method of transport. We’re pleased to be working closely with SYPTE and join them in encouraging local residents and Tram Train users to share their views through the consultation.”

SYPTE website

Images: SYPTE


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