Sheffield misses out on transport funding but rest of South Yorkshire benefits

Sheffield has missed out on a slice of transport funding but Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley are all set to benefit.

Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 5:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 5:31 pm
Julie Dore inset and Sheffield supertram

A new £3.5m transport pot for South Yorkshire will fund transport and highways projects across the whole county.

At a Sheffield City Region Combined Authority meeting attended by leaders of all four of the region’s councils, a vote was passed handing the cash to the three South Yorkshire towns.

SCR officers suggested the move arises from a ‘large discrepancy in the amount of borrowing being invested in the Supertram network’ in Sheffield and the amount of borrowing being used to support projects in the other three districts.

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Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore hit back and said the Supertram network is ‘not only used by residents of Sheffield’.

Coun Dore added she was ‘profoundly disappointed’ the city was to miss out on the funding and the decision came as ‘surprise’. She was out-voted by Doncaster mayor Ros Jones and leaders of Barnsley and Rotherham councils Sir Steve Houghton and Chris Read.

This is the latest rift in the county as issues such as devolution, HS2 and Sheffield Supertram have all caused tensions across different local authorities.

The move appears to be the latest rift in the Sheffield city region (SCR) where issues such as HS2, devolution and paying for the Sheffield Supertram have caused splits between the four South Yorkshire authorities.

The funds are to be split on a ‘per-capita’ basis with Rotherham set for around £1.1 million, Barnsley £1 million and Doncaster 1.3 million.

A pot was set up as other funding streams came to an end. Leaders agreed for the CA to borrow the £3.5 million to create the fund.

Coun Dore said there was a consensus to make savings on the joint transport levy paid by all four South Yorkshire councils but at the same time, put some money aside for the transport capital pot.

“The whole point is this fund is for South Yorkshire and Sheffield hasn’t received any of it,” she said.

“The recommendation came as a surprise to me. I’m profoundly disappointed in the outcome.”

Minutes from the meeting show Coun Dore ‘questioned the rationale’ of the pot and asked why, as a South Yorkshire badged initiative, it is only available to three of the four districts.