Tuesday, September 20, 2022

News: Proponents push on with plan for Rotherham mainline station


Despite some uncertainty, Rotherham Council and its partners continue to develop regeneration plans based around a potential new £30m mainline station in Rotherham.

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and Rotherham Council have been developing a scheme to return mainline train services to the borough for the first time since the 1980s. A site at Parkgate is the frontrunner for a regeneration project described by experts as "a relatively straightforward scheme for delivery within three to four years."

A business case has been completed and a lead consultant has now been procured to produce a masterplan study for the station area.

£10m has been earmarked to support the mainline station as part of Rotherham Council’s successful £31.6m award from the Towns Fund. The award triggered a 12 month period to develop locally assured Full Business Cases ahead of the submission of Project Summary Documents to the Government by 29th June 2022.

A business case around the Mainline Station was submitted to the Government in August.

A council report states: "The scheme promotes a new Rotherham Integrated Mainline and Tram Train Station which will significantly improve local, regional and national rail connectivity for local people and businesses, offering access to employment and business growth opportunities, and contributing significantly to the economic regeneration of the town.

"The preferred location for the station demonstrates excellent strategic fit with Rotherham’s urban core due to its proximity to the town centre, a number of planned housing and employment sites, and its potential to provide a high quality transport interchange hub, and location adjacent to the existing tramtrain line and close to existing bus routes. Additionally, the site is of a size that it can accommodate the necessary station infrastructure and ancillary facilities whilst surrounding land offers significant regeneration potential in the longer term.

"The Towns Fund investment is focused on the acquisition of the land necessary to construct the integrated station and associated facilities, thereby de-risking the project, maintaining project momentum and catalysing further investment. The Council, as project promoter, and partners are seeking opportunities to expedite the process and accelerate delivery of the project where possible."

The project delivery has not been helped by a Government decision to not allow SYMCA to use the full £8m requested from its City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) for the project.

The £8m could still come forward from the CRSTS before 2027, but a lot rides on the studies into taking HS2 services to Leeds. For the Levelling Up Fund, the Government expects all funding provided from the earlier rounds to be spent by 31 March 2024, and, exceptionally, into 2024-25 for larger schemes.

As part of the project, Weston Williamson + Partners has secured a £349,000 contract from the council to carry out the masterplan study. Tender documents show that as part of the business case "it is important to ascertain the wider regeneration benefits a new station could deliver. In order to understand the wider regeneration potential a masterplan is required."

Acquired earlier this year by Egis, one of the world’s leading consulting, engineering and operating companies, Weston Williamson + Partners has a portfolio that includes work on Paddington Station, Old Oak Common HS2 Station and Barking Riverside (pictured) in London, and plans for taking Manchester’s HS2 station underground.

As for any potential services to a Rotherham mainline station, this could include current TransPennine Express, Northern and Cross Country services that pass through the borough without stopping, and future Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) trains between Sheffield and Leeds and Hull, and a Manchester Airport to Cleethorpes NPR service. The region wants to see two trains per hour, NPR "shuttles," between Sheffield and Leeds stopping at Rotherham mainline.

Images: Weston Williamson + Partners


Anonymous,  September 20, 2022 at 1:10 PM  

So Rotherhams mainline station will be in Parkgate?.....may as well close Rotherham now.

Anonymous,  September 20, 2022 at 2:01 PM  

I think it will be somewhere close to Trade centre, unless anyone knows differently? Not ideal with the current traffic levels!

Anonymous,  September 20, 2022 at 2:10 PM  

Why parkgate.
Why not reopen Rotherham Masborough even better still use rotherham centre.
The reason Masborough was shut was because the council said it was to far from the town centre,now they want it at parkgate..
The mind boggles.

Anonymous,  September 20, 2022 at 5:26 PM  

Another pipedream and waste of money.

Anonymous,  September 20, 2022 at 8:46 PM  

As someone who actually works on the railway, I'll explain why this isn't an option.. Firstly, Masborough,the station would need to be totally demolished and rebuilt,the cost and timescale involved would be high,as work for the most part would only be able to happen when lines are under possession (Blocked too trains).The only way central station could be used ,is for platforms to be lengthened,and the single line Holmes curve,dualled,once again high cost and possession works A new site like Parkgate is a blank canvas,much more of the building work could be carried out whilst trains are running,therefore timescale would be less.Hope this helps.

Chris,  September 21, 2022 at 9:49 AM  

Great to have an actual knowledge based comment on these boards for once. Thanks for your insight.

Anonymous,  September 21, 2022 at 1:35 PM  

So we build the station where it’s easier and cheaper but a stupid location (too busy) rather than closer to the town centre because it’s more difficult and more expensive? Why bother? A station in the wrong place is NO GOOD! Oh, and it’s Masbrough not ‘Masborough’ (despite what people who ‘actually work on the railway’ may seem to think).

Anonymous,  September 22, 2022 at 11:38 AM  

Nearly all new stations of the "Parkway"type are new build,easy fit parking is the clue!

Anonymous,  September 22, 2022 at 2:56 PM  

Fact based clarity like that is welcome

Anonymous,  September 23, 2022 at 7:41 AM  

The problem is that Rotherham central isn't on the mainline. Masbrough isn't ideal as a walk into town.
Parkgate is further away from town, but the plan seems to have a tram stop, so a quick ride to Rotherham central.
Ideally the mainline should come through Rotherham central, but this is a decent 2nd best option.

Anonymous,  September 27, 2022 at 11:39 AM  

Yea right. We turned up at Rotherham station a couple of Saturday's ago to find all tram trains cancelled due to lack of drivers!! Work all week and then stuck on the reservation at weekends? What a future we are all facing and, thanks to the multi-passport holding Johnson, we are all effectively stuck on the ship as it goes down?

Anonymous,  September 25, 2023 at 2:03 PM  

Trains could be re routed along the Parkgate branch whilst these works take place or use over night possessions and divert any freight through Rotherham Central, an even better location would be somewhere behind milmoor where the line crosses the Holmes line giving you a choice of going into Sheffield or a direct connection South to Chesterfield - St Pancras

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