Minister of State for Transport Wendy Morton has said the reopening of Barrow Hill Line has now progressed past the strategic outline business case phase along with eight other schemes in England and Wales.
The proposal to reopen the line to passengers will get a slice of £15 million to further develop the case before being considered again.
If selected for reopening, the Barrow Hill Line could see train stations re-opened in Whittington, Barrow Hill/Staveley, Eckington/Renishaw and Killamarsh, and the return of a regular service.
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On the Sheffield end, potential station locations could include at Beighton and Sheffield Victoria.
A separate bid to build a station in Waverley would also serve the line.
The scheme is backed by North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley, Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts, Sheffield Council, North East Derbyshire Council, Chesterfield Borough Council and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.
Welcoming the announcement, South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, said: “There is huge support to take this project forward because of the opportunity it gives to level-up our ‘left-behind’ communities – the people and places currently disconnected from quick and frequent public transport links to get to jobs, education opportunities or to see family and friends.
“By building better connections between communities where we live, work and visit and offering better options to get around, we can unlock more potential for people right across South Yorkshire.
“The government has set the time frame of levelling up our region by 2030, but in order to achieve that goal we need them to match our energy and ambition, otherwise it’s just more empty words. Projects such as restoring the Barrow Hill line are a great starting point, helping to better connect our communities to local places and more opportunities.”
Two further SYMCA bids were shortlisted in October 2021 – to restore passenger services on the Don Valley Line between Sheffield and Stocksbridge, and the Askern Line between Doncaster and Knottingley / Leeds. Business cases are currently being developed for these two schemes.