Councillors representing the Stocksbridge, Deepcar and Oughtibridge wards in Sheffield are urging officials at the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to consider extending the Supertram network to prevent the increase in congestion likely as a result of hundreds of new homes due to be built. No official plans are in place for extending Supertram – with the exception of the long awaited tram-train pilot to Rotherham – but it is hoped that once a business case is prepared for investment in the current network (currently being looked into) consideration will be given to an expanded system.
With hundreds of homes either already under construction or planned for the future in Stocksbridge, Deepcar and Oughtibrudge it is believed that the congestion already experienced into the city will be increased and that something would need to be done to solve this. Its proposed that an extension from the Yellow route terminus would be built to Fox Valley with new stops at Oughtibridge, Wharncliffe Side, Deepcar and Stocksbridge. Another plan could see trams use an existing freight line between Rotherham and Stocksbridge, although it is also suggested that a heavy rail service could be introduced instead.
Speaking to the Sheffield Star Cllr Jack Clarkson, ward councillor for Stocksbridge, said: “The rush hour traffic between here and the city centre is already impinging on the bus timetables, and the number of houses being built is likely to seriously increase road traffic. Stocksbridge and the Upper Don Valley desperately need a rail link to Sheffield city centre. It’s taking people a good hour to get to work. It needs the public to say enough is enough, the roads just can’t take any more.”
In response to the plea Ben Gilligan, SYPTE Director of Public Transport, said: “We do not have any plans to extend the tram to Fox Valley. Sheffield City Region has received £1.573 million from the Department for Transport, which will enable network owners SYPTE to progress a business case for up to £230 million future investment in Supertram. Work is ongoing to look at broader connectivity across Sheffield City Region as part of the refresh of the transport strategy.”