Mike Moss’s letter printed in The Star last Saturday, setting out that in closing Sheffield airport the City had lost its No1 asset for growth, is to be applauded.
Studies across the world show that when businesses are wishing to set up or relocate, efficient and accessible transportation is high on their priority lists and in many cases, it is No 1. Having a “down town” airport adjacent to the M1, only four miles from Sheffield city centre and three miles from Rotherham town centre gave us the edge over competitor towns and cities with their “out of town” airports which are over 20 miles or so from the main centres of population.
If the closure of Sheffield’s airport wasn’t enough bad news, the Conservative/Lib Dem Government, has just announced HS3.
This proposed rail line will link up directly, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull and will bypass Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
It will “create a world powerhouse” but Sheffield will be nowhere to be seen and out on a limb.
Sheffield has the ability to counteract this imbalance in opportunities. The council should swallow its pride and admit to being mistaken in closing down Sheffield’s airport.
It should seek dialogue with businesses and in particular the Federation of Small Businesses which has been campaigning to reopen our airport.
As transportation is the key factor to regeneration, Sheffield could have its very own major transportation hub in the Lower Don Valley to attract new businesses and support existing ones, including Advanced Manufacturing.
We would have the M1, rail and bus networks, the HS2 rail station and Sheffield City Airport in the same area,.
Decisive action is needed now or the future will be bleak indeed.