Nearly 90 per cent back renewal of Supertram in Sheffield and reject scrapping network for buses
Sheffield residents andÂ businessesÂ have overwhelming supported a plan to renew and modernise Supertram, a survey has found.Â
Transport bosses at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) launched a consultation earlier this yearÂ and found 88 per cent backed a scheme to renew and improve vehicles and information systems.Â
Some 78 per cent rejected scrapping the scheme completely to be replaced with a new dedicated bus service.Â
Stagecoach has operated Sheffield Supertram since 1994 but the commission is up for renewal in 2024 at a cost of aroundÂ Â£230 million.Â
There is no money set aside to completely renew the system and bosses are relying on the Department for Transport to stump up the majority of the cash.Â
The renewal also requires a '˜commitment to a local contribution' of around '˜20 per cent' from the four South Yorkshire councils which roughly totals Â£46 million.Â
Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has previously said there will be '˜no more taxpayers cash' from borough residents to pay for Supertram and any funding for renewal should come from central grants and fares.Â
Barnsley Council leader Steve Houghton has also cited Supertram as a reason for pulling out of the Sheffield City Region devolution deal.Â
Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis has spoken of Supertram's importance to the area and his travel master plan which includes possible expansion across the county.Â
Of the 2,888 responses received, 67 per centÂ supported maintaining Supertram as it is through ongoing essential repairs. Some 78 per centÂ opposed exploring alternative transport options to Supertram, such as a dedicated bus system.Â
Over a quarterÂ stated they moved or relocated to be nearer to a tram routea and someÂ 68 per cent of respondentsÂ would travel by car if the tram was no longer available.Â
Mayor Jarvis said: 'It is clear from the number of responses received, that our Supertram system is a source of pride and of great value to those that use it.Â
'Renewing Supertram is fundamental to the growth of our region. The tram train pilot scheme has the potential to be extended to other areas across the region, easily and conveniently connecting urban areas with our towns and city.Â
'I want to ensure that we build a transport system that works for everyone, connecting people to the places they want to go, both within the region and also nationally and internationally.'Â
The results of theÂ consultation will now be discussed by transport bosses.
A plan will be presented in a business case that will be considered by theÂ SCR Combined Authority and the Department for Transport.
Further consultation will be held during the next stage of project, when the business case is complete in the middle of 2019.