Two rail routes from Sheffield are among the priority lines which should be electrified to boost the northern economy, a task force has concluded.
The routes from Meadowhall to Leeds via Barnsley, and Sheffield to Doncaster then Wakefield Kirkgate, are included in the 12 that the Electrification Task Force recommends be progressed.
Those priority lines were chosen because of their contribution towards boosting the northern economy.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin visited Sheffield railway station to receive the final report yesterday afternoon.
He said :”If you have good transport links I think you see that investment come.
“You have only got to look at the regeneration that’s happened around St Pancras station in London.
“Twenty years ago you wouldn’t have wanted to spend five minutes there, now it is a destination in its own right.
“This fantastic station, and the way that Sheffield is regenerating, it is vitally important that we do everything we can to help the area so that it is not held back by an ineffective transport system.”
The report - carried out by a cross party group of MPs and council leaders from the north - was handed over on the day that the first electrified train went from Liverpool to Manchester Airport.
In total 32 routes were considered and the aim is that all will eventually be electrified, with benefits also including the environmental impact and a ‘better service for passengers’.
The report will now be considered by the Government,
Mr McLoughlin did not confirm when Sheffield train passengers might see electrified trains on these sub routes but said the study would help ‘set the agenda’ for after 2019.
He added: “It’s not all done overnight, big infrastructure projects take time.”
The 12 routes recommended as priorities are:
- Calder Valley (Full)
- Liverpool to Manchester via Warrington Central
- Southport/Kirkby to Salford Crescent
- Chester to Stockport
- Northallerton to Middlesbrough
- Leeds to York via Harrogate
- Selby to Hull
- Sheffield (Meadowhall) to Leeds via Barnsley / Castleford & connections
- Bolton to Clitheroe
- Sheffield to Doncaster/Wakefield Westgate (Dearne Valley)
- Hazel Grove to Buxton
- Warrington to Chester
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