Council keeps quiet over planned Sheffield tram extensions

Sheffield Council is considering extensions to the Supertram network   but will not reveal to where.
Sheffield Council is considering extensions to the Supertram network but will not reveal to where.
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SHEFFIELD Council is planning major transport schemes to be paid for through the area’s £500 million infrastructure fund – including possible new Supertram extensions.

However, the authority has refused to reveal details of its proposals – because it does not want to ‘upset’ neighbouring councils who will also be bidding for some of the cash.

The Supertram plans are in addition to plans for a new line to south-west Sheffield as a link to the city’s high speed rail station at Meadowhall.

South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority said councils ‘have now submitted schemes to be considered in the prioritisation of funds’.

But Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for transport, said making details public could risk negotiations between councils within the Sheffield city region about how the fund should be spent.

However, members of Sheffield’s Motorists’ Forum and opposition councillors argue details of the council’s plans should be made plain.

Forum member Rob Prior, a company director from Broomhill, said: “I don’t believe telling your electorate what you are doing would upset neighbouring councils.

“We shouldn’t rely on all the £500m to come to Sheffield, but people want to know what is going on. Motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and public transport users should have a say.”

Former forum member Mac Millard, a retired postman from Longley, said: “Coun Bramall should make details public. Our councillors are responsible to the people of Sheffield.”

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Liberal Democrat opposition leader on the council, said: “If they have ideas, let’s share them.”

But Coun Bramall said: “We could risk setting ourselves against other councils and upsetting the process.”

Coun Roger Stone, Rotherham Council leader, said: “What’s planned in Sheffield is a matter for Sheffield.”

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