Sheffield Supertram secures cash lifeline to keep running during pandemic

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Sheffield’s Supertram system has secured funding from the Government that will ensure it can continue to operate throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The news, which was announced today by Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, is intended to ensure key services continue to run, particularly for workers travelling to Sheffield’s hospitals.

Mr Jarvis said he had been has been calling on the Government to act to support regional transport systems since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, after many city regions saw a significant fall in passenger numbers.

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He said: “I’ve been working around the clock to ensure that South Yorkshire has the resources it needs to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month I took action and extended concessionary payments and agreed a substantial package of support for bus operators.

“This meant that essential services could continue running for key workers, but also provided certainty to our transport system so normal services can resume when travel restrictions are lifted. However, there remained a gap in support for Supertram and I have been in close contact with Government Ministers to address this. I am pleased they have listened and have acted. The funding will be welcome news for passengers.

“Securing this funding for Supertram will help ease the financial strain during the crisis, allow essential journeys to continue and keep NHS staff and key workers moving during this critical time, particularly to Sheffield’s hospitals.”

The Confederation of British Industry welcomed the news, with regional director Beckie Hart saying the government’s decision was vital to maintain the routes that were critical to keeping the country running.

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“These services are the lifeblood of our communities and key workers are relying on them to do their jobs throughout this crisis,” she said.

Sheffield's Supertram network has secured a cash lifeline from the Government.Sheffield's Supertram network has secured a cash lifeline from the Government.
Sheffield's Supertram network has secured a cash lifeline from the Government.

“This move to support operators shows that government recognises their vital contribution to Britain’s path to recovery from COVID-19.”

As well as Sheffield, the Government has pledged to support transport systems in Manchester, the West Midlands, Nottingham and Tyne and Wear.

They said the funding would enable key routes to remain open for people travelling to hospitals, supermarkets or those who cannot work from home, such as NHS staff.