Plans revealed to improve rail links between Sheffield and Huddersfield

A Sheffield MP has teamed up with a West Yorkshire MP for a bid to improve rail services between their two constituencies.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 12:20 pm

Miriam Cates MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, and Mark Eastwood, MP for Dewsbury, co-sponsored a £47 million bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund to improve railway infrastructure between Sheffield and Huddersfield.

They said the proposal would improve reliability and speed, as well as make space for a second train per hour in each direction between the two locations.

Ms Cates said the currently one train per hour service along the line was “simply not good enough” for local people and businesses to see the railway as a viable alternative to driving.

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Miriam Cates MP.

She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to improve public transport connectivity in the communities served by the Penistone Line.

“Better transport links means more opportunities to level up the economic and social life of our towns and villages. We need to invest in our local commuter routes like the Penistone Line, which is the missing link between South and West Yorkshire. I know current and future users will benefit hugely from a better rail service on the line.”

The project is led by Kirklees Council with support from Barnsley Council, Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The £47 million is pooled by Ms Cates and Mr Eastwood as the Levelling Up Fund allows for bids of up to £25 million and includes a requirement to have the endorsement of local MPs.

A result on the bid is expected in autumn.

Ms Cates is also spearheading a campaign with Sheffield City Region and the Don Valley Railway group to revive the Don Valley line between the city centre and Stocksbridge – calling at Deepcar, Oughtibridge, Wadsley Bridge and Neepsend.

They put in a bid for funding to the government’s £500 million Restoring Your Railway Fund last year.

After initial feedback, they worked on the bid with some external consultants and resubmitted it to the third round of the Restoring Your Railway Fund in March and are expecting a decision in the summer.