Give us Supertram hospital extensions and public buses - says editor Nancy Fielder
It is just never good enough. Whenever crumbs are scattered across the north’s transport system, Sheffield seems to miss out every single time.
The city that once had buses and trams that were the envy of the country now has just one boast – the largest train station in Europe that isn’t electrified.
We have been let down nationally and today’s expected announcement that HS2 won’t reach further than the Midlands just exacerbates the problem. The Victorians were the last people to seriously invest in new, northern infrastructure despite the promises made at election time.
But we also aren’t fighting hard enough locally. We must shout loudly with one unified voice and we must make our demands simple. Let’s have a clear shopping list and let’s use our votes to make it happen – because it is obvious that nothing else will.
So today The Star asks you to back our demands for two simple things which would be solid first steps in transforming Sheffield travel. Extend Supertram to both major hospitals and bring buses back into public control.
I don’t need to explain to you how transformational it would be to have improved access to the Northern and Hallamshire. Anybody who has tried to park there, or indeed walk across that enormous site, knows what is needed. If anybody can give me a good reason why this hasn’t happened before, I’m all ears.
As for needing buses that aren’t run for profit, again it is blindingly obvious. These two things would protect and improve services for our most vulnerable communities. They would ease pressure on the roads and slash pollution.
For a city that has been deliberately neglected to the stage where we aren’t able to contribute to the national economy as we should, it really isn’t much to ask.
Whatever happens today – announcement that the north is being dumped again or not – we need to fight for these two improvements tooth and nail.
Anybody who reads the investigation by business editor David Walsh on Pages 7, 8 and 9 will agree. How long do we put up with substandard and unfair funding without saying enough is enough?
Whatever your politics, it is imperative that every Sheffielder steps up and demands better.