Friday 20 March 2015

Sheffield City Council has welcomed today’s Department for Transport report on its Northern Transport Strategy.

The report commits to “a world class transport system” to “link up the individual cities and towns in the North, to allow them to function as a single economy and be stronger than the sum of their parts”. Cllr Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council and Sheffield City Region representative on the Transport for the North board, has helped to secure a number of significant commitments for Sheffield in the strategy, including:

• Delivery of the full HS2 ‘Y’ network as soon as possible, including consideration of accelerating construction of the Leeds – Sheffield link, and looking at the scope to use HS2 for fast regional services linking Sheffield and Leeds.

• Exploring significantly improving the existing Hope Valley line, with the goal of bringing down journey times between Sheffield and Manchester towards 30 minutes, and improving freight connectivity.

• Exploring creating a new rail route across the Pennines from Manchester, linking into HS2 between Sheffield and Leeds to provide a new high speed alignment linking all three cities.

• Exploring a major new road link under the Pennines between Sheffield and Manchester – taking traffic out of the Peak District National park to protect our natural heritage and completing the ‘triangle’ of major road links between Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester.

• Reviewing the impact of current improvements to the M1 between Junctions 32 and 35a to see what further improvements are required in and around Sheffield.

• Completing a series of upgrades to the A1(M) to improve journey reliability to distribution centres around Doncaster and Sheffield improving access to Tees Port

• Moving towards the TransNorth vision of Sheffield to Hull in 50 minutes.

Council Leader Cllr Julie Dore said, “This is the culmination of work we have been involved in for some time. Sheffield has been working with other cities across the North to produce this plan, which outlines the steps that need to be taken to strengthen connectivity between our city centres. This is essential for attracting businesses to Sheffield and creating jobs and growth for our city.

“What we now need to see from the government is the real commitment and funding to deliver these projects which will make the difference to turn this strategy into reality.”