The Sheffield City Regions has been awarded £166 million from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, as confirmed during the recent budget. The region has big for £220 million but has not got the full amount meaning that full proposals of what will be included are yet to be confirmed.
Cllr Bob Johnson, Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability, said: “It’s disappointing that we haven’t received the full amount, but we will remain ambitious. Big changes are needed to make sure our travel options are improved, and although the amount will not give us as much flexibility we can still start to move in the right direction towards a city that offers realistic sustainable travel options. We need to do this to boost the city’s economy and help the environment.”
Supertram was included in the original Transport Strategy for the region but it is not known how much of this overall strategy will come to fruition now the full funding has not been awarded. Under the heading “Securing the tram system” the plan was to ensure that funding was available to secure the future of Supertram with both the infrastructure and trams reaching the end of their lives. According to the strategy: “Age and limitations of existing infrastructure and rolling stock are existential threat to Supertram”. At the time it was said without funding there was a risk that the tram network may not be able to remain open.
Funding will be focused on areas that can benefit most from active travel improvements, such as walking, cycling and public transport which will hopefully mean that Supertram’s future is secured. Once ready proposals will be made public for a period of consultation.