Sheffield mayor urges city to get onboard with Supertram’s future

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Sheffield’s Lord Mayor took to the city’s trams today to urge passengers, residents and businesses to have their say on the future of Supertram.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Denise Fox, was joined by senior figures from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and Stagecoach Supertram at the Cathedral tram stop in the city centre.

The transport bosses climbed aboard the traditionally decorated ‘Tram 120’ to ask customers their thoughts on how the Supertram network could be developed.

It’s the final week for Sheffielders to to have their say in a public consultation launched by SYPTE to help shape long-term plans to change, improve and maintain the transport system.

The Lord Mayor used to be a part of the Integrated Transport Authority in South Yorkshire and is 'interested in transport in a general way'.

She said: “I would urge people to fill in the consultation and fill it in honestly, because that’s the only way you can change things- if you know what people feel.”

The 120th Lord Mayor poses with the 120 tram alongside Stagecoach Supertram Commercial Manager, Nigel Wragg (left), and executive director of SYPTE, Stephen Edwards (right)

The 120th Lord Mayor poses with the 120 tram alongside Stagecoach Supertram Commercial Manager, Nigel Wragg (left), and executive director of SYPTE, Stephen Edwards (right)

Around 1,500 people have replied to the SYPTE survey so far which executive director Stephen Edwards says shows that ‘people feel very strongly about the tram network’.

He added: “Now is an ideal time to consider not just what we need to do to keep the system operating, but also to get people’s feedback to see what else it could do to improve people’s lives - whether that’s access to work, leisure or entertainment."

Fran Wood, from Broomhill, said from the Cathedral tram stop this afternoon that the city would benefit from having tramlines along Abbeydale Road, Ecclesall Road, and out to Stocksbridge.

But Margaret and Lorraine Siddall from Herdings Park said 'there's nothing we would change about the current service'.

Lorraine (left) and Margaret Siddall wouldn't change anything about the tram network

Lorraine (left) and Margaret Siddall wouldn't change anything about the tram network

Joshua White, a university student in Sheffield, agreed that the tram service was reliable.

"I've only used it a couple of times, and both times I was drunk. But it got me home safely," he said.

In a poll Star readers said they want Supertram lines to extend to the city’s outskirts and hospitals.

Of the more than 3,700 votes cast by Star readers, 28 per cent were in favour of a line linking Stocksbridge to the city centre and 17 per cent want to see tracks being laid up to the Northern General Hospital.

Fran Wood, who works for Sheffield City Council's travel assessment and training office, said the city would benefit from tramlines along Abbeydale Road, Ecclesall Road and out to Stocksbridge

Fran Wood, who works for Sheffield City Council's travel assessment and training office, said the city would benefit from tramlines along Abbeydale Road, Ecclesall Road and out to Stocksbridge

Mr Edwards admitted that links to the hospital and to Stocksbridge are ‘common themes that are coming through’ the survey results so far.

“Those areas are areas that have been on the agenda in the past. So in some respects they don’t come as a surprise- those are areas that would be important to serve.

"There’s a lot of investment that is going into public transport across the whole of the North and elsewhere in the country as well.

"We think we’ve got a good case for investment in the tram network in Sheffield- it delivers a lot of value both in terms of people’s lives but also in terms of people’s businesses in the community."

The survey can be completed online or in a paper form from Sheffield Interchange until 30 October.

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