STRONG support from the public has been received for a proposed investment scheme to upgrade Sheffield City Region’s Supertram system, results of a consultation have shown.
Nearly ninety-percent (88%) of local residents, businesses, visitors and community groups responding to South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) Consultation on the Future of Supertram would like to see the renewal and modernisation of Supertram’s tracks, vehicles and information systems.
Of the 2,888 responses received, 67% supported maintaining Supertram as it is through ongoing essential repairs. 78% opposed exploring alternative transport options to Supertram, such as a dedicated bus system.
Over a quarter (28%) also stated they moved or relocated to be nearer to a tram route. And the majority (68.3%) would travel by car if the tram was no longer available.
SYPTE Executive Director, Stephen Edwards, said: “Thank you to everyone who took the time to give their views. Whilst we continue to make local investment in Supertram and replace sections of track, parts of the system are coming to the end of their working life. Our current concession agreement for tram services ends in March 2024, and significant funding would be needed to allow Supertram to operate beyond this time. Your feedback is important to help us plan for the future of the network.”
Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, said: “It is clear from the number of responses received, that our Supertram system is a source of pride and of great value to those that use it.
“Renewing Supertram is fundamental to the growth of our region. The tram train pilot scheme has the potential to be extended to other areas across the region, easily and conveniently connecting urban areas with our towns and city.
“I want to ensure that we build a transport system that works for everyone, connecting people to the places they want to go, both within the region and also nationally and internationally.”
SYPTE sought views between 24 September and 5 November 2018 in a public consultation on three options for the future of the Supertram system: maintaining Supertram as it is through ongoing essential repairs; renewing and modernising Supertram’s tracks, vehicles and information systems; and, exploring alternative options to Supertram.
The consultation will form part of the information used to select a preferred option. This will be presented in an Outline Business Case that will be considered by the Combined Authority and the Department for Transport. Further consultation will be held during the next stage of project, when the Outline Business Case is complete.