South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), with the four South Yorkshire Districts of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, has been awarded £24.6 million of Government funding to help boost the local economy and get people back to work.
The Department for Transport has granted the money from its 'Local Sustainable Transport Fund' (LSTF).
The funding will allow SYPTE to make improvements in three key areas:
• to facilitate and encourage sustainable commuting
• to enable employers to reach a wider pool of potential employees
• to help businesses through reducing congestion and encouraging more reliable journey times.
The investment stands to benefit around 10,200 businesses in the four corridors which affects 226,000 jobs – with more jobs likely to be created.
The cash will be targeted on four main corridors in Barnsley, Don Valley, Doncaster and the Dearne Valley. These four corridors were selected based on a combination of genuine local need and a high potential for carbon-friendly economic growth.
A range of measures will be put in place including bus priority; 'Jobconnector' bus services; cycle routes; upgrade of tram stops; rail-based Park & Ride; promotion of electric vehicle use; infrastructure to unlock urban regeneration; training; marketing and travel planning.
It will build on a successful previous application last June that saw £5 million awarded to South Yorkshire on similar measures.
Over the next three years there will be investment in the Don Valley in bus priority, traffic management, tram stops, cycle paths and a new tram feeder service at Malin Bridge, which will be introduced later this year.
In the Dearne Valley there will now be new cycle routes installed over the next three years, better bus priority and traffic management, a new Park and Ride facility at Elsecar, and a new bus feeder route at Wentworth and Shortwood which will start running this year.
Barnsley will also get additional cycle paths and traffic management, as well as an immediate increase in the frequency of the X19 bus service to Doncaster, benefiting large employers outside the town centre and creating new job access opportunities.
The regeneration of important sites in Doncaster will now be boosted by traffic work that will allow further development of the waterfront, as well as substantial congestion relief measures and redevelopment at Adwick.
Added to this there will be focused enhancements at the Enterprise Zones along the M1 and all South Yorkshire districts will benefit from investment in infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Mick Jameson, SYITA Chairman, said: “We welcome this crucial Government funding which will help support economic growth and help get people back to work.
“We have identified four key corridors in South Yorkshire which will greatly benefit from this level of investment and between them they include around 10,200 businesses and 226,000 jobs. We are confident that this funding will enable a step change in our ability to help people access jobs and help employers reach the right people.
“The Government wants to see carbon emissions reduced and this money will help facilitate economic growth while helping people to travel in a sustainable way.”