- Approval confirmed for £16 million package of measures for South Yorkshire buses.
- Key milestone reached to deliver new fast, frequent bus service
- Will see huge transport investment links between Sheffield and Rotherham
- Scheme should be up and running in early 2015
Transport chiefs in South Yorkshire have welcomed millions of pounds of central Government funding which will see new faster transport connections developed between Sheffield and Rotherham.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has announced that SYPTE will receive almost £16 million in funding from The Department for Transport (DfT) that will contribute to enabling the long-planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to start running in the next two years.
DfT will provide £15.9 million towards the full cost the scheme. An additional £13.9 million has been made available from a number of other sources to deliver the project, including a contribution of over £8 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Under the plan a new link road will be built under Tinsley Viaduct to allow a high quality, limited stop bus service to run from Rotherham to Sheffield from September 2015. It will see faster, more frequent connections through the Lower Don Valley, reducing the snarl ups which occur at the busy junction 34 south of the M1. It will also help unlock the redevelopment potential of the area, which is being restricted by the traffic problems on the present road system.
The scheme will be delivered by SYPTE, working with the DfT, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, and Sheffield City Council. The link road, featuring a series of bridges, to run over the River Don, the railway track and under Tinsley Viaduct, will offer a more direct route for the BRT service to operate as well as to general traffic.
Buses will run at a 10 minute frequency helping grow the numbers of people using public transport and so to cut carbon emissions too. Construction on the new link road is due to begin early in 2014.
David Young, SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General and Director of Customer Experience, said: “We are delighted to have received confirmation of funding for BRT which will improve the transport offer to people travelling between Sheffield and Rotherham, but which will also help to relieve the congestion problems which are limiting redevelopment of the area. Together with the planned Tram-Train pilot the BRT project will help to link and grow the two key economies of Rotherham and Sheffield. The time to put these in place is now.”
Councillor Leigh Bramall, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet member for Business, Skills and Development said: “This has been a long time coming so it is a relief to finally be able to get construction of this much needed route off the ground now we have confirmation of this funding.
“This road will be a great catalyst to boost economic links in the area by stimulating economic regeneration in the Lower Don Valley, improving transport and helping to address air quality.
"Bus Rapid Transit North is a key part of our aspirations for the Lower Don Valley and the Enterprise Zone. We are working tirelessly to boost the city region economy, to provide more jobs for local people and to bring vital investment to the Sheffield City Region economy.”
Coun. Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, said it was "great news" for both Rotherham and the Lower Don Valley.
He added: "This scheme has been a long time in the planning, but the funding has now come through and people in both Rotherham and Sheffield can look forward to a fast, modern link via the Don Valley. It will not only cut the journey time down between the two destinations but will also relieve congestion and improve the potential for new jobs across this particular area."
For more information visit sypte.co.uk/brtnorth