PLANS to improve rail services in the Sheffield area have been launched this morning by mayor Dan Jarvis.
The proposals for Sheffield City Region include new stations at Barnsley Dearne Valley, Doncaster Sheffield Airport on the East Coast Main Line and Rotherham, to be served by Midland Main Line trains. The Hope Valley line to Manchester has been earmarked for an upgrade, and so have the stations at Sheffield and Chesterfield, for future HS2 services. The original plan to build HS2 through Sheffield has been abandoned in favour of an alternative route which would skirt the city to the east, so some HS2 trains from London will leave the main high speed route near Chesterfield and terminate at Sheffield.
Tram-train services could also be extended to the Dearne Valley, Doncaster and Doncaster Sheffield Airport, having been launched between Sheffield city centre and Rotherham Parkgate last October, and building these new routes would be allied to renewals of the existing Supertram network.
The Integrated Rail Plan points out that its proposals are ‘complementary’ to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, and have been drawn up in co-operation with the Department for Transport.
Mayor Dan Jarvis said: ‘This is a landmark moment for our region. For the first time, Government, regional partners and our local authorities have come together to welcome a vision for the future of our rail services, creating a Plan that will revolutionise rail travel for our communities.
“A new station in the Dearne Valley, on the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, will offer potentially transformational regeneration opportunities for that area. I look forward to working with the Department for Transport to ensure that sits alongside essential investment in the surrounding road network.
‘This plan has been developed by working with the Department for Transport, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, HS2 Ltd, Transport for the North, local authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership. If businesses, communities, local and national government come together, I believe that this programme of rail infrastructure investment will deliver a big stride towards ensuring that everyone in the Sheffield City Region will benefit from better transport for years to come.’
Tim Wood, who is Northern Powerhouse Rail director at Transport for the North, added: ‘The result will be more seats, on new, faster trains, direct to more locations across the North and beyond. Couple that with the opportunities to reduce car trips and stimulate local housing and job creation, and it becomes an extremely compelling story.’