Rail replacement work on the Supertram network is to take longer than hoped – because the summer has been ‘too warm’.
The line between Sheffield Station and Spring Lane remains closed, with replacement buses in operation, in the first phase of a £32 million project to renew most of the network.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive has revealed the work, which it had been hoped would be finished by early October, will now not be completed until later in the month.
Hot weather has meant installation has proved problematic, a PTE spokesman said - and in the warm weather Sheffield’s Weston Park weather station recorded its highest temperature for a decade, of 30.3C.
The length of delay has not been confirmed but is believed to be ‘several weeks’.
One passenger, who did not wish to be named, said: “Any delays to the works will cause extra traffic now that the schools are back for the new term.”
And tram user Andrew Speight, of Gleadless, said: “There are very high levels of customer dissatisfaction among long-suffering tram passengers. Everybody is complaining.
“Replacement buses don’t connect. They frequently arrive just as the tram’s departing meaning that everybody has to wait for the next tram.
“Lots of Supertram staff are often just standing around chatting at the tram stops and are not helpful - and tram drivers close the doors when people are on the way to board.”
David Young, SYPTE’s interim deputy director general, said: “Unfortunately the work is going to overrun somewhat, which we apologise for.
“The rail replacement is a complex job which involves several processes and one of these - treating the trackbed to take the new rail - has taken longer than anticipated.
“We are now looking at around the end of October for this year’s works to be completed.”
He added: “This is essential work which will not need to be revisited for 20 years.”