Monday, December 4, 2023

News: New Magna stop is "a vindication of the Tram-Train trial"


A planning application has been submitted for a £6.65m project to introduce a new tram-train stop on the existing network with a new Park & Ride site in Rotherham.

The scheme is designed to provide a boost to the Magna Science Adventure Centre and the wider Templeborough area, as well as improve alternative travel options in an area known for low air quality. Network Rail say that the "new station at Magna is seen as a vindication of the Tram-Train trial" - the £100m+ pilot project which was first announced in 2009.

Extending the Sheffield Supertram network to Rotherham and Parkgate using the heavy rail line, the programme has been in place for five years and has demonstrated benefits from the lower infrastructure capital and maintenance costs compared to a heavy rail service; and the level of passenger demand and satisfaction it created, with over 2.3 million journeys. The new tram-train stop at Magna is seen as a logical enhancement of the network.

Backed by the Government's Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) has been working with Network Rail on the business case for the new station.

Submitted two years after funding was confirmed, the plans from Network Rail explain: "The Tram-Train line runs to the rear of the site; therefore, an opportunity has been identified to build a new stop serving Magna and the wider area. This would improve connectivity and provide additional transport options for accessing Magna and the wider Templeborough / Sheffield Road area from both Sheffield and Rotherham.

"Alongside helping to provide growth to Magna and the local area, the new stop also supports Rotherham Council’s aspirations for increased investment in the regeneration of the wider Templeborough area and provide access to areas of opportunities from areas of need."

Rothbiz has reported on a number of new commercial schemes in the area, including a council-led scheme for new industrial and food units on land owned by Manga.The area is also included in the South Yorkshire Investment Zone.

Magna has plans to continue growing its events business (e.g. holding conferences etc.) and wants to develop a night-time economy (e.g. bands/concerts etc.). The site currently attracts around 160,000 non-school visitors per year, mostly in the school holidays. This comprises 80,000 attraction and 80,000 events visitors. Operators hope that recent investments in the visitor attraction will boost visitor numbers to 100,000 in 2023/24 and 120,000 in 2024/25.

At the same time, making use of the existing underutilised parking supply at Magna is seen as a cost-effective way of increasing Park & Ride facilities in the area. Plans add: "This will encourage drivers to park and then travel by Tram-Train. It is estimated that over 200,000 journeys annually would be made using the tram-train facility."

The application shows a station with two, 30m long platforms on land next to the car park at Magna, further down past the AquaTek outdoor play area. It is described as having basic facilities including a shelter, information boards, lighting, CCTV and cycle parking. A bridge, with lifts, and a fence running between the two tracks are also included.

The station will be accessed directly off the existing car park, which itself has direct access onto Bessemer Way.

The plans include the re-arrangement of existing car park spaces to increase capacity to 428 spaces from the existing 399 (which would include an additional number of disabled, motorcycle and electric charging spaces) available. Plans note that "the existing car park is currently operating at around 4% of capacity so there is ample room for the introduction of tram passenger parking on the site without detriment to the operation of the existing car park for Magna patrons."

A standard day in May 2022 saw only 14 of the car parking spaces used.

The application concludes: "The proposal for a new station at Magna is seen as a vindication of the Tram-Train trial and is seen as a key enhancement in improving the public transport system of the Rotherham area, enhancing journey opportunities between the Magna attraction, the town, and the wider Sheffield area. It makes an important contribution to the sustainable development of the tourist attraction and the wider town in aiding modal shift and reducing dependence on the private car, enhances economic prospects for job creation and helps to maintain the attractiveness of the Magna facility."

Magna website

Images: SYMCA / Network Rail / Google Maps


Anonymous,  December 4, 2023 at 1:17 PM  

Great news for most Rotherham folk

Anonymous,  December 4, 2023 at 5:01 PM  

It is great news, just a shame that Bramley Councillors didn't have the same foresite. There's no wonder we get treat like we do when we've got councillos stuck in the past!

Anonymous,  December 5, 2023 at 7:19 AM  

A real boost for Magna, one of the few Millennium projects in the country to still be around. The tram train will also benefit the Forge Island businesses.

Anonymous,  December 7, 2023 at 12:19 AM  

another Liebour money wasting project . about 6.5 million on some more buses?

Anonymous,  December 7, 2023 at 6:53 AM  

Magna has confounded Rotherham's laissez-faire contingent for years. This development should give it a real shot in the arm.

Anonymous,  December 8, 2023 at 8:11 AM  

Good addition for the ‘Sheffield area’

Anonymous,  December 8, 2023 at 3:25 PM  

No such entity. There is Rotherham and there is a bus stop near Rotherham

Anonymous,  December 8, 2023 at 8:59 PM  

The Sheffield area is what my father calls his backside.

Anonymous,  December 9, 2023 at 6:35 AM  

Great to see so many "Sheffield area" businesses and workers migrating to little old Rotherham. In fact I saw number of small boats heading this way on the canal last week If this keeps up we will need a border patrol at Templeborough.

Anonymous,  December 9, 2023 at 8:57 AM  

Suella Braverman has raised this issue at Prime Ministers question time and demanded that Rishi brings in an act of parliament making it legal to ship illegals from Attercliffe to Rwanda

Anonymous,  December 9, 2023 at 10:14 PM  

I think anyone earning less than £38,000 pa or supporting Sheffield Wednesday should be the first on the plane.

Anonymous,  December 14, 2023 at 5:35 AM  

As opposed to toytown ?

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