Everything you need to know about five months of Supertram disruption
Sheffield Supertram passengers will be affected by five months of rail replacement work – starting this weekend.
Passengers who catch the yellow route tram in the north of the city will have to board replacement buses from Middlewood and Malin Bridge to Hillsborough from Friday, April 19 until June 2.
During summer, the work will extend out to Shalesmoor before finishing in September.
People will need to leave more time for journeys and, as the work moves along the track, will need to keep checking their routes.
All trams will run as normal for the weekend of the Tramlines festival.
During the Easter bank holiday weekend, motorists will also face diversions as the section of track at the junction of Langsett Road with Holme Lane is replaced.
Langsett Road, Middlewood Road, Bradfield Road and Holme Lane will be closed at various points.
There will be replacement buses throughout the next five months, although trams have capacity for 240 people while buses can only hold around 80.
Transport bosses say the Supertram track, some of it dating back to when it was originally laid in 1994, needs replacing to ensure the network is safe.
A three-year rolling programme of work costing £15m in total started last year. There was some work around Middlewood last year, there will be £5m of work in the north this year then another £5m of improvements in the south of the city in 2020.
Last year rails were replaced across Sheffield but transport chiefs believe concentrating on one neighbourhood at a time will be better.
Tim Taylor, director of customer services at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: “This is essential safety work. It’s not cosmetic, it’s a necessity if we want to run the network safely for the next 30-plus years.
“It’s important we have a safe network for people to use and we want the trams to be there for the foreseeable future.
“We made a conscious decision because last year the work affected the whole network but now people will only be affected for one year.
“This year work will affect Shalesmoor to Malin Bridge and Middlewood and next year’s programme is the blue and purple routes in the south of the city.”
Tim says they have endeavoured to communicate better than in previous years.
Residents who live directly by the trams will get letters about the work, although they won’t be sent to estates such as Wadsley Park Village and Winn Gardens.
“We have done a lot more work this year to get customer focus communications, including letter drops to residents who live near the trams,” he said.
“We have tried to listen to people. We had quite a lot of feedback on the lack of services at Tramlines last year so have designed a programme to ensure we have a service up and running this year.”
At the start of the work, “tram-bassadors” will be on trams and at stops to inform people. There are also messages on the tram public address system and posters in shelters.
Head of customer service at Stagecoach Supertram, James Stewart, said: “Just think of the bus as the tram. You can still buy a tram ticket, or use the app, as normal and use it on the replacement buses.
“At every tram stop there will be signs directing people to the bus stops. There will be public information on the electronic display boards and we’ll have ambassadors directing people to buses for the first few days.
“We can’t print a message on the tickets but we do have it on the journey planner on the app.
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“We didn’t do any publicity before now as there was work going on at the train station and we didn’t want to complicate the message.”
Pay and display car parks at Middlewood and Malin Bridge will remain open and the charges will be waived during the tram work.
James added: “People will need to allow extra time because they will be using both buses and trams and they will need to walk to the stops for the replacement buses.
“Buses only have one door, rather than several on the trams, so it may take longer getting on and off. We will have double-decker buses and if there is a lot of demand, we have an extra fleet.”
Tim says he hopes people will continue to use public transport rather than switching to their car.
“There is always a risk people may not come back to the tram but we are confident that it’s a much-loved part of the network, it has a 97 per cent satisfaction rate.
“There is also a risk of people using their cars more but we are trying to minimise disruption and help people plan ahead. We would much rather people use a bus and return to the trams than use their cars.”
The Stocksbridge bus which connects to the Middlewood Park and Ride stop, and the tram-train to Rotherham, will not be affected.
Where and when is the disruption?
Hillsborough Corner and Middlewood Road
April 19 – June 2
Shalesmoor towards Hillsborough
June 3 – July 18
July 22 – July 25
Hillsborough Corner - Holme Lane
July 26 – August 9
University of Sheffield
August 25 – August 30
For more information