Doncaster firm lands Sheffield tram contract

A DAY ON SHEFFIELD'S SUPERTRAM.....   Supertram on Grange Road Norfolk Park   'See Story Steve McClarence Picture Chris Lawton '21 April  2011
A DAY ON SHEFFIELD'S SUPERTRAM..... Supertram on Grange Road Norfolk Park 'See Story Steve McClarence Picture Chris Lawton '21 April 2011

A multi-million pound project to improve Sheffield’s tram network will get under way at the end of this month.

VolkerRail, based in Doncaster, will begin work on the replacement of 5,450 metres of track within the next two weeks after landing the £4 million contract.

The first phase of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s investment programme - the largest since the system began running in 1994 - will involve engineering work on a section of track on Park Grange Road.

Stagecoach Supertram bosses have promised disruption will be kept to a minimum while the first phase, expected to last around 12 weeks, is carried out.

Small-scale improvement work at Granville Road, Ridgeway Road, City Hall, Shalesmoor, Albert Terrace Road and Ripley Street will be completed at weekends.

Margaret Kay, managing director of Supertram, said: “These essential works on the Supertram network will benefit customers and the city of Sheffield many years after the end of our current contract to operate the system.

“During this project, we will be doing everything we can to minimise the disruption for our customers.

“We look forward to continuing to deliver high quality tram services for the people of Sheffield once this important work is complete.”

To compensate passengers the firm is offering a weekly Megarider ticket for £11.50 while the first phase is carried out, which will be valid on bus replacement services relating to the track renewal project.

VolkerRail will install harder-wearing steel on the tram network to ensure a life-span of around 25 to 30 years.

David Young, deputy director general of SYPTE, said: “When the tram system was installed, it was expected that the rail would have a 30-year life span.

“However over the past two years it has become clear that this replacement work needs to be carried out sooner rather than later to ensure the people of Sheffield have a robust and reliable tram network in the future.”