Tuesday, October 5, 2021

News: South Yorkshire's direct call to Government for transport funds


Mayor Dan Jarvis and South Yorkshire leaders have called on Ministers to back their plans for a transformative programme of transport investment in the region.

The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) has submitted the bids to Government to be considered in the Comprehensive Spending Review on October 27.

Worth more than half a billion pounds, the investment will bring significant improvements to South Yorkshire’s transport system, enabling people to make public transport and walking and cycling their first choice for travel.

In the 2020 Spending Review the Government confirmed Intra City Transport Settlements (ICTS) for eight Mayoral Combined Authorities. Funding totalling £4.2bn will be available starting in 2022-23 with revenue funding available in 21/22 to prepare. The MCA has been earmarked some £5.2m revenue for transport purposes including preparing for ICTS, building longer-term local transport planning and delivery capacity as well as supporting bus reform plans.

South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “South Yorkshire deserves and needs a world-class transport network. I want a stronger, greener, fairer South Yorkshire, and that means making great jobs accessible to everyone, cutting emissions and creating safe spaces for people to walk and cycle.

“We’re investing millions of our own money to make improvements for passengers now, cutting bus and tram fares, and making improvements to stations and interchanges, upgrading bus shelters and installing new electronic screens.

“However, we need the Government to match our ambitions for the region and back our plans to transform our infrastructure and get our region moving.”

Government backing for the plans will:

- Improve the buses network – giving buses priority on roads, provide better vehicles, stations and stops. It includes significant investment in electric buses and installing charging infrastructure at stations and on streets and depots across South Yorkshire to move towards a zero-emission fleet.
- Deliver better active travel routes, so people can leave their cars at home for short journeys, by building more than 600 miles of new cycle lanes across the region.
- Invest in tram, securing the first phase of investment in the renewal of Supertram.
- Build and improve stations and platforms at the region’s rail stations.
- Ease congestion, build new junctions and repair potholes on South Yorkshire’s roads. The plan includes major improvements to the A635 between Doncaster and Barnsley

Mayor Dan Jarvis added: “World class bus and tram services and walking and cycle routes are at the heart of our plan. Backed in full, this will help people across our region get where they need to be, with frequent, affordable local services and better connections to towns and cities across South Yorkshire.

“This will drive our recovery from the pandemic and open up new development opportunities so South Yorkshire’s economy can thrive, attract more investment and improve productivity.”

Peter Kennan, Co-Chair of the Transport & Environment Board, South Yorkshire LEP, added: “For too long, poor bus, tram and rail connectivity within the region has been holding us back. If backed by government, these plans for investment will boost our economy, our productivity and make the most of the fantastic assets we have here in South Yorkshire.

“The Local Enterprise Partnership brings together the voice of the private sector alongside that of the four councils in the region, and we are fully supportive of the Mayor Dan Jarvis in the areas where funding has been sought. These submissions are rooted in our Strategic Economic Plan for South Yorkshire, and I hope their strength and quality are recognised by ministers.”

The MCA has previously discussed asking the Government to foot most of the £439m bill to renew the existing Supertram network.

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority website

Images: Stagecoach


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