The pioneering Tram Train project in South Yorkshire will take a significant step towards completion in the coming weeks as construction work continues.
Engineers from Network Rail will replace College Road bridge in Rotherham. The old road bridge needs to be demolished and a new, higher one installed so that the overhead lines which will power the Tram Trains can be safely installed underneath. To allow the bridge to be replaced, College Road will be closed for 18 weeks from Friday 14 April to Friday 18 August 2017.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) was awarded £51 million from the Department for Transport to undertake the two-year pilot, with project partners Network Rail, Northern Rail and Stagecoach Supertram. Learning gained from the pilot will help determine whether Tram Trains can run in other parts of the country.
Work to prepare for the Tram Train service includes:
– Electrification of the rail line from Meadowhall South to Rotherham Central Station and Rotherham Parkgate tramway to the train tracks
– Construction of a 400 metre rail line (called the Tinsley Chord) to link the tramway to the train tracks
– New tram stop at Rotherham Parkgate
– Extended rail platforms at Rotherham Central Station
– Rail replacement engineering work to the Stagecoach Supertram network
– Modifications to the Stagecoach Supertram depot to accommodate Tram Trains
– The manufacture of seven Tram Train vehicles by Vossloh in Spain.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy Cllr. Denise Lelliott added that better transport connections would help to reinvigorate the local economy.
All very good you might think but this grand scheme does not offer a single advantage to people who live in Anston. It’s all very well being able to whizz between Sheffield and Rotherham but what and where are the proposals to help us get there? There is the 19B bus service from Anston to Rotherham Interchange which takes 52 minutes. Alternatively there are the 216/X5 and X55 buses between Dinnington Interchange/Ryton Rd. which have journey times of 1 hour. Seriously?
How many people want the Tram/Train running through Anston and Dinnington?
Let’s recap on this: £51 Million for The Tram Train pilot which will run for two years with a view to permanent operation and it is a sure bet that if Stagecoach end up operating this scheme they won’t have to repay £51 million.
Would it have been better if RMBC had asked for money to repair and improve our roads instead? The A57 between Anston crossroads and Todwick is still a bottleneck. Woodsetts Rd and Swinston Hill Rd are still in urgent need of repairs.
Modern transport links are vital if Rotherham is to prosper but towns and cities need people to work in them, how is it proposed these same people get to work without snarling up the roads networks?