'Tram could add transport value in future but Doncaster taxpayers should not pay for renewal costs' Mayor Ros Jones says
Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has reiterated that borough taxpayers should not be footing the bill for the renewal of Supertram in South Yorkshire.
The transport system expires in 2024 and reports seen by council leaders in South Yorkshire shows estimated renewal costs are ‘in excess of £200 million'.
The service operates in Sheffield, Rotherham town centre and Parkgate.
Documents drafted by Sheffield City Region officers show the renewal requires a ‘commitment to a local contribution’ of around ‘20 per cent’.
The four councils all signed off on a transport vision for the Sheffield City Region which did include the possibility of extending tram-train to Doncaster.
Mayor Jones said the tram system ‘does not benefit’ the residents of Doncaster despite claims from South Yorkshire Transport Executive bosses last year.
But the mayor said the service ‘could add value’ to borough transport in the future.
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The mayor also added expansion of tram-train should not get in the way of securing railway station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport linking the East Coast Mainline.
“The people of Doncaster should not be expected to pay for the tram system because it does not benefit the people of this borough.
“It was the way the funding was distributed and I maintain that view. If they (Sheffield and Rotherham) can go and get different grant funding - that’s up to the mayor of South Yorkshire (Dan Jarvis) but it should not be at the expense of residents of this borough.
“This is a message that the residents are clearly giving to us.
“The tram-train could add a valuable link across different areas but what I don’t want to see is a proposal that takes the tram-train that’s going to delay East Coast Mainline connectivity for a very important station like the airport.
“If the scheme enhances and not replaces services in our area then that’s great but this plan is still in the early stages.”