Wednesday, August 3, 2022

News: Government pulls out of Rotherham mainline station

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The Department for Transport has put the brakes on a proposed new £30m mainline station, described as being of "fundamental importance to Rotherham."

Despite being described by experts as "a relatively straightforward scheme for delivery within three to four years," the Government has now confirmed that it will not allow the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) to use £8m from its City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) for the project.

Instead, the SYMCA is being allowed to only spend up to £1m from the pot between now and 2027 to "develop the Outline Business Case (OBC) for an integrated mainline and tram-train station."

When the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands (IRP) was published by the Government last November, it scaled back ambitions for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) with Rotherham and Sheffield missed off the new network. The IRP also showed that the HS2 Phase 2b Eastern leg would no longer reach Leeds and instead included a pledge to look at options on how best to take HS2 services to Leeds.

The decision was recently described as "a missed opportunity" by the Transport Committee.

In repsonse to the plans, SYMCA said that missing Rotherham off NPR network "runs contrary to the desire to "level up" communities." Rotherham Council described the mainline station as being of "fundamental importance to Rotherham" and added that any downgrading of the scheme "would be a direct detriment to our borough."

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In a letter to South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard, confirming delivery plans, Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, said: "Following a further assessment process, I can confirm that the following scheme will not be funded in full in this CRSTS period: Rotherham Mainline station, including tram-train element.

"SYMCA may proceed with spending up to £1m in this CRSTS period to develop the Outline Business Case (OBC) for an integrated mainline and tram-train station. Any further spend is subject to HMG [government] approval based on a value for money and affordability assessment for the integrated station as a whole. This assessment should work on the basis of existing HMG commitments only and should assume by default that no funding outside of CRSTS is available.

"I therefore request that you work with my officials to bring forward additional schemes for the remainder of this funding."

The settlement consolidates funding from previous allocations of the Highways Maintenance Block, Potholes Fund and Integrated Transport Block.

As well as £8m from the CRSTS, £10m has been earmarked to support the mainline station as part of Rotherham Council’s successful £31.6m award from the Towns Fund.

The Parkgate area is the front runner with the council and the private sector led Town Deal board already working on a business case focusing on the benefits of the station and the regeneration opportunities around it.

Consultants LCR have been appointed to work on a station masterplan and the strategic acquisition of land is also being prepared.

NPR is also expected to fund the mainline station.

An update on the studies into taking HS2 services to Leeds, which could benefit Rotherham, are expected in September.

Images: SYMCA

8 comments:

Anonymous,  August 3, 2022 at 11:36 AM  

Disgusting. Levelling up my arse!

Dan,  August 3, 2022 at 11:52 AM  

After seeing all the measuring up been done off of Beale Way behind Great Eastern way retail park I literally thought the next thing we would see would be plans, it seems perfect with the waste land on this side and the parkgate side, it almost seems too simple but once again we are seemingly overlooked.

Anonymous,  August 3, 2022 at 12:39 PM  

The Council took away the mainline station in the 1980s as it was to far away from the town centre and built the present Rotherham Central.

Now they want one in parkgate which is further away from the town centre than the old mainline station.

Surely the best business case will be to reopen the old one or get main line trains through the present Rotherham Central,rather than spending a fortune on a whole new station at Parkgate.

Anonymous,  August 3, 2022 at 12:44 PM  

So reading this article,are we to take that they are still proceeding with the plan?Cos that's how it reads.

Anonymous,  August 4, 2022 at 8:10 AM  

We'd have had the tram in Bramley and much better connection to Rotherham Centre, Parkgate and Sheffield if the short sightedness of a few Parish Councilors hadn't spoilt it for the rest of us.

Living in Sheffield Centre for a while I can tell you now the noise pollution argument against it was utterly ridiculous, you can barely hear them!

There's a lot of pus who moan about RMBC (rightfully so), but don't forget the retired boomers who are Parish Councilors who only care about their own agender rather than the good of their village!

Anonymous,  August 4, 2022 at 6:04 PM  

The closing of Masborough station had nothing to do with the council.

Unknown August 4, 2022 at 7:51 PM  

Wasn't it the householders living on the route, especially those on Bawtry Road, who were vociferous in their campaign to stop it? Ridiculous when you think about how the future is now with electrically propelled vehicles.

Anonymous,  August 4, 2022 at 10:44 PM  

Sounds as though you're talking about agender imbalance.

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