Rotherham’s proposed new mainline station delayed by three years says council leader
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Rotherham Council and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority have drawn up proposals to return mainline train services to the borough for the first time since the 1980s.
The proposal, likely to be built on track in the Parkgate area, would provide faster services into Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham without changing in Sheffield or Doncaster, with the possibility of direct London services also proposed.
The station could also serve as an interchange with the tram train.
The plans could be worth as much as £100 million to the Rotherham economy, according to RMBC.
Last year the government committed £10 million towards the scheme as part of Rotherham’s ‘Towns Fund’ allocation, and had indicated that a further £8m would be forthcoming in the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement – the main source of transport capital funding to South Yorkshire.
The station plan had been highlighted as a priority by Transport for the North, with a view to completion as early as 2024.
The Minister’s decision means that, whilst a further £1 million of development work can be undertaken, further spend beyond this – and work on the ground – is delayed until at least 2027.
Councillor Chris Read, leader of RMBC, said he would continue to make the case to government.
Coun Read said that the decision was ” unexpected, disappointing and arbitrary”, and accused the government of “kicking into the long grass the major upgrade that our local rail services needs.
“For us, this would be a significant investment to upgrade train travel, helping to take cars off the road and protecting our rail services from the potential worst impacts of HS2.
“But in national terms this should be a no-brainer; it’s a relatively small cost, with funding largely already identified, for a scheme that’s relatively easy to build, directly in line with what the government says its policy is.
“Nearly six months ago, I wrote to the Secretary of State urging him to support this scheme. And while I continue to wait for a reply, it seems that he has just decided to put Rotherham on the back burner again.
“It’s a decision that makes no sense economically or environmentally. We’ve already waited more than thirty years for the next mainline service for our borough, the arrivals board should be counting down the next two years now and instead we’re stuck in limbo.”