Calls for new rail depot to avoid lorry congestion

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SHEFFIELD MPs and Star readers are backing plans to build a rail depot to receive material for the £2 billion Streets Ahead road revamp project - despite concern from business leaders.

Heeley MP Meg Munn and Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts have announced they are supporting the scheme.

Aggregate Industries Limited has applied for permission for the depot at Tinsley Marshalling Yards, which would receive stone by rail, avoiding lorries travelling into the city from quarries. Around 30 jobs would be created.

But regeneration agency Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, which involves local business chiefs, has objected on the grounds the site is in the Enterprise Zone, designated for high tech manufacturing and engineering firms.

Star readers have backed the rail depot plan.

Steve Cross, of Woodseats, said: “Given the potentially large environmental benefit of using rail instead of road to deliver material for Sheffield’s road building projects, could it be that the Local Enterprise Partnership are prioritising their own narrow interest over those of the region as a whole?”

Another reader said: “Each aggregates train can remove up to 160 HGVs from the congested streets of Sheffield.”

Ms Munn said: “This planning application is within Clive Betts’ constituency.

“He has already indicated his support for the development as it is a sensible arrangement for the receipt of the materials for the renewal of our road surfaces.”

Chris Scholey, of the LEP, said: “The vision of the Enterprise Zone is to build on the city region’s existing strengths and establish a global hub for modern manufacturing and technology.

“This planning application is for a site which forms part of the Enterprise Zone and has been specifically allocated for Enhanced Capital Allowance incentives.”