Essential tram rail replacement to resume in May

27/04/2020

MULTI-MILLION pound investment work to future-proof and extend the lifespan of the Supertram network will continue next month.

The first phase of this year’s essential engineering work to replace worn Supertram track will start between Hackenthorpe, Donetsk Way and Birley Golf Course from Monday 4 May, and is due to finish by 5 June.  A revised timetable will be in place on the Blue and Purple route during the work.

“The Supertram network plays a vital role in the life of our city, connecting people to employment, education and leisure activities. Delivering these essential rail replacement works now, under carefully managed and safe conditions, will ensure that Sheffield continues to benefit from a safe and reliable tram network in the future. This will be more important than ever as we recover from this unprecedented public health crisis”, said Tim Taylor, Director of Customer Services at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE).

“We have worked closely with our contractor, VolkerRail, to agree the strict controls that will need to be in place, to ensure all employees can operate safely, in line with the latest government guidelines for working during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.”

“We’re asking people to follow the latest advice from Government and stay at home where possible.  Public transport should only be used for essential journeys. For those that do need to travel, including dedicated key workers travelling to and from work, normal bus services are available as an alternative to the tram.” 

The Blue route will run between Malin Bridge and Birley Lane only, with a revised timetable. Tram stops between Birley Moor Road and Halfway will not be served. The Purple route will run its normal route between Cathedral and Herdings Park, with a revised Area 1 Covid -19 reduced frequency timetable. Yellow and Tram Train routes will not be affected during this period and will continue to operate the current Covid-19 reduced frequency timetable.

The latest advice from Government is that people should stay at home where possible, and only travel if they are a key worker or if the journey is essential. For those that do need to travel, bus services 120 (between Halfway and city centre) or 80a (between Birley Moor road and city centre) are available as an alternative to the tram. Halfway Park and Ride will remain open and will be free for use whilst works take place. Customers can buy a ticket on board buses at Halfway or on trams beyond Birley Lane.

Stagecoach will accept Tram Only tickets on buses in Sheffield travelling in areas where the tram runs.

Tim Bilby, Managing Director for Supertram, said:

“Our Supertram services play a crucial role in South Yorkshire’s public transport network and during the current COVID-19 pandemic, are more important than ever in helping to provide connections for key workers.  This important work will help to ensure reliability of the network for the future.

“We have worked hard with SYPTE and its contractor, to ensure that the impact on services is minimised and arrangements are in place for people to use existing Stagecoach bus services where we aren’t able to run trams.

“Many key workers continue to rely on our services, and I would like to pay tribute to them, and to all of our own employees for their important work in helping to keep South Yorkshire moving.”

The rail replacement will improve passenger comfort and reduce noise on the network. The improvements between Hackenthorpe, Donetsk Way and Birley Golf Course form the first of four areas of scheduled engineering work planned to take place this year, mainly around the southern sections of the tram network. Further sections of Supertram track will be replaced in stages, planned between:

-    White Lane and Norton Avenue from Saturday 6 June – Friday 24 July

-       Gleadless Townend/Ridgeway Road and Manor Top/Spring Lane curve from Saturday 25 July – Tuesday 1 September
- Crystal Peaks bus entrance/Crystal Peaks Office entrance/Elcroft Gardens from Wednesday 2 September – Friday 25 September

The work forms part of the current three-year programme of rail replacement carried out by SYPTE’s contractor, VolkerRail. 

Information about the works, disruptions, service alternatives and frequency is available online at travelsouthyorkshire.com/RailReplacement and travelsouthyorkshire.com/disruptions.

The most up to date public transport information is available at travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges. Passengers will also be able to find information via twitter @TSYalerts or by calling Traveline on 01709 515151. Tram timetable and route information will be available at supertram.com or via twitter @SCSupertram