Dan and Sarah Storey
Mayor Dan Jarvis and Dame Sarah Storey, Mayor Jarvis's active travel commissioner.
Rebecca Wayman

Sheffield City Region secures £220m transport improvements for government submission

Proposals for Sheffield City Region’s future transport network were agreed by the Mayoral Combined Authority today (June 3) and will be submitted to government.

At its meeting this morning, the MCA agreed the content of a draft Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) bid to the Department for Transport (DfT).

The bid, for up to £220m in funding, focuses on three large areas which could most benefit from significant improvements across rail, public transport and travel schemes.

The aim is to reduce journey times, cut congestion, improve punctuality and reliability, and bring about benefits associated with active travel, like improved health and wellbeing.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “It is critical that we improve the transport system in our region, to create better access to major employment sites, reduce congestion [and] better integrate different modes of transport.

“That’s why it’s so important that we get this Transforming Cities Fund bid right, and why we’ve been working closely with partners across South Yorkshire to ensure that our bid has real potential to drive transformational change for our communities.

“Improving our transport links is crucial for growing our economy as we develop a Global Innovation Corridor, linking residents and businesses to our internationally-significant assets in areas such as advanced manufacturing, health and wellbeing, and engineering.”

There are three areas the bid focuses on, including the River Don ‘corridor’ between Sheffield city centre and the Unity site, north of Doncaster.

This comes after, in September 2018, it was announced that the SCR was successful in becoming one of the 10 areas in the UK to be shortlisted for a share of the TCF.

In order to develop the business case, a Project Board was then established, led by the SCR Executive Team and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), which considered potential schemes put forward by the four local authorities in South Yorkshire.

Schemes included as part of the River Don programme include a new connection into the iPort site from Rossington, fit for buses and active travel; and better walking and cycling routes in Armthorpe; bus priority measures at key junctions in Doncaster.

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones said Doncaster’s advantageous position as having many links geographically locally, regionally and nationally, made it imperative that investment in transport infrastructure should be high on the agenda when looking for funding.

She added: “We must develop a more modern integrated transport system which helps people benefit from the education, employment, social and leisure opportunities [here].

“Added to that, walking and cycling as healthy ways to travel should be encouraged. This bid, if successful, will realise much-needed improvements to our bus and rail network.”

Over four years, a minimum of £180m and a maximum of £220m is being sought from the TCF.

If the SCR gains the maximum funding, £48m would go towards the River Don corridor, £73m to the Dearne Valley and £99m to AMID.

A draft business case will be submitted to the DfT this month, and a final business case will be submitted in November, so that the schemes can be considered as part of the DfT’s overall £1.22bn funding pot.

The MCA will be asked to approve the final business case prior to its submission in the winter.

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