Mayor Ros Jones: 'No more cash from Doncaster taxpayers for Supertram'

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones has refused to commit any future funds to pay for the renewal of Supertram.

Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 5:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 5:17 pm

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones has refused to commit any future funds to pay for the renewal of Supertram.

The transport system, which at present only runs across Sheffield, expires in 2024.

Proposals have been touted for a number of years to extend the service to other parts of South Yorkshire through the tram-train system.

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A tram-train trial is already being finalised to run from Sheffield into Rotherham with a new station at Parkgate and a new service from Rotherham railway station.

Reports seen by council leaders in South Yorkshire report the estimate renewal costs is to be ‘in excess of £200 million'.

Documents also show the renewal requires a ‘commitment to a local contribution’ of around ‘20 per cent’.

This is said to include further re-railing, new signalling, communications and power supply as well as replacement trams.

Mayor Jones has said any renewal should come from fares and central grants and not from taxpayers.

A business case is planned for submission in the first half of 2019 to the Department for Transport after £735,000 was secured from Government to develop a way to operate Supertram past 2024.

Any closure would incur ‘significant costs’ which would need to be borne ‘wholly by the Sheffield City Region. Closure of the network is said to also ‘compromise the case for inter-regional Northern Powerhouse Rail services’ between South Yorkshire and Leeds.

At a SCR combined authority meeting on Monday, council leaders heard a proposal to improve transport across South Yorkshire, Chesterfield, north east Derbyshire and Bassetlaw.

But Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones told the meeting: “I welcome mass transit, however I would actually state as far as the costs of renewing Supertram assets are concerned, I think these should be covered by grants and fares and certainly not passed on to authorities such as Doncaster.

“I will not be supporting anything that will incur further costs to the residents of Doncaster.”