Editor: Tragic game of luck to allow our city to contribute

The fourth biggest city in England shouldn’t need ‘luck’ to get basic, decent infrastructure.
Transport secretary Grant ShappsTransport secretary Grant Shapps
Transport secretary Grant Shapps

So you might have to excuse the phrasing used on today’s front page but I am sure you will agree the question mark at the end of the headline was necessary.

Sheffield boasts the unenviable title of being the biggest non-electrified station in Europe. What a ridiculous situation in 2021. It would be utterly horrendous if that remained the same in 2031 but after so many broken promises, I wouldn’t advise any of us to hold our breath.

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This is the third time that plans have been laid, promises have been made in exchange for votes and yet nothing has changed.

You might have thought this was a matter more important that petty politics but it certainly doesn’t look that way from where Sheffielders are standing – whether that is on a cold platform waiting for a cancelled train, hanging on for a late bus or wondering why Supertram doesn’t even reach our hospitals.

It isn’t just the injustice of having less invested in northern cities and it isn’t just that we see every single day how the place we call home is held back by pitiful infrastructure.

Sheffield, along with our neighbouring cities, can’t contribute fully to the national economy while we are unable to operate and simply move as is our right.

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So successive governments – let’s be honest this is not a problem created by the existing powers in number 10 or by one political party – have failed to maximise their own country because the biggest cities are held back. What a ridiculous situation, again.

I hope the transport secretary is true to his word. Politicians have done a lot to damage to their shared reputation in recent months but we have little choice – we must hope that we get this rail boost at the very, very least.

So I go back to my original point. There are many things we need and transport must be at the top of that list.

The Star won’t be giving up on that campaign and will be keeping a very close eye on how it progresses. Clearly we do need a little bit of luck because being a huge city busting with talent, innovation, creative and earning power just isn’t enough in this game.