Don Valley railway line and Hickleton bypass included in government’s ‘Network North’ scheme
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Today (4 October) the government has announced the launch of its Network North scheme, with a series of transport improvements across all areas in the north of England.
The announcement comes in the wake of news yesterday that the Northern leg of the long-awaited HS2 railway line will be scrapped.
Where previously the line was proposed to connect up to Manchester, it will now end in Birmingham.
Several improvements have been proposed in South Yorkshire as a part of the Network North scheme, including the restoration of the former Don Valley railway line.
Don Valley railway is a historic route between Sheffield and Stocksbridge which ceased service in 1970.
A scheme was proposed to restore the line in 2003, however it was not approved by government.
Last year, South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard placed a bid to reopen the line again using the government’s Restoring Your Railway Fund, however it was unsuccessful.
Alongside the restoration of the line, the government has proposed a new Don Valley station to service it.
Waverley near Rotherham could also benefit from a new railway station.
£460million has been set aside for road schemes in Yorkshire and the Humber, which could include the formation of an A1-A19 Hickleton bypass to ease traffic pressure.
This has been sought after by local councillors after a series of accidents between Hickleton and Marr.
Several areas of funding have also been included for general improvements in the region such as £100million to make train ticketing more efficient and an extension of the £2 bus fare cap until the end of 2024.
In South Yorkshire, £1.4billion from the scrapping of HS2 will go to local transport projects.
Mayor Oliver Coppard, who called the scrapping of HS2 a “catastrophe”, commented on the announcement on Twitter.
He wrote: “In South Yorkshire, the Prime Minister’s big announcement – ‘network north’ – means nothing more than reheated projects they’ve had 13 years to deliver, and more promises for the future they won’t deliver. And we’re supposed to be grateful?”