Autumn Budget 2021: Sheffield Council leader welcomes £200m funding boost for city – including £100m for Supertram
Sheffield’s council leader has welcomed a multi-million pound funding package to improve the city’s transport infrastructure.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a total package of £6.9bn to city regions including South Yorkshire where £570 million will be spent on a range of projects.
This is part of his Autumn Budget statement which is being laid out on Wednesday (October 27).
The full detail of the investment is yet to be revealed, but it is expected to see over £200m invested in transport improvements in Sheffield.
This includes over £100m on Supertram, £35m on bus priority and public transport enhancements, £25m on active travel measures and £15m on local neighbourhood improvements.
Council leader Terry Fox welcomed the news – but added much more government investment in public transport would be necessary to give Sheffield commuters a service comparable to that enjoyed by Londoners and make “levelling up” a reality.
Coun Fox said: “We’ve fought hard for this for a long time, and we’ll put the cash to good use to improve Sheffielders’ transport options.
“But we need much more than this, and we’ll keep pressing. To unlock Sheffield’s potential, we must have better public transport.
“Remember that, per person, Sheffielders still get a lot less than Londoners in government support for public transport.
“For instance the amount of funding on buses per head in London is £76, but in Sheffield this is less than £5. So the government has a long way to go before ‘levelling up’ can be more than a slogan.”
South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis said he ‘fought hard’ to get the funding and that the region deserves a ‘world class transport system’.
Mayor Jarvis said: “South Yorkshire deserves and needs a world-class transport network. I’ve fought hard to secure the transformative investment we need for South Yorkshire and repeatedly called on ministers to match my ambitions.
“That message has finally been heard by Government. The money we have secured will get South Yorkshire moving and help deliver a public transport revolution – benefitting all parts of our region and making public transport the first choice for travel.
“Passengers in South Yorkshire will benefit from faster bus services, upgraded shelters and stops, better rail stations and a massive expansion in high-quality walking and cycle routes.
“I want a stronger, greener, fairer South Yorkshire and this settlement marks a big step forward on that journey.”
Mr Sunak added: “Great cities need great transport and that is why we’re investing billions to improve connections in our city regions as we level up opportunities across the country.
“There is no reason why somebody working in the north and Midlands should have to wait several times longer for their bus or train to arrive in the morning compared with a commuter in the capital.
“This transport revolution will help redress that imbalance.”