Mayor Dan Jarvis on tram-train expansion across South Yorkshire and tackling the north/south divide in transport funding
South Yorkshire metro mayor Dan Jarvis has said more needs to be done to address the funding gap the region receives in transport funding compared to London.
Speaking at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium at a transport conference, Jarvis said Yorkshire receives around £315 per head while London receives £1,019.
The mayor was joined by a variety of speakers including Sheffield City Region Active Travel Commissioner Dame Sarah Storey, Greater Manchester ATC Chris Boardman and Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts.
Mayor Jarvis said: “We need to draw down resources from national government. The gap that’s spent in London on transport and the South East and the spend on here in Yorkshire is too wide and it’s a big job for me and our MPs to lobby Government to try and invest resources in our transport infrastructure here in South Yorkshire.
“I’m meeting with ministers lobby Government but at the end of the day we need to see more resource to deliver on the plans that we’ve agreed.”
The mayor also praised the ongoing tram-train trial between Sheffield city centre and Parkgate in Rotherham telling a packed conference hall over 500,000 passengers have used the service since it began.
And Jarvis went onto say he wants to be ‘more ambitious’ and wants to roll it out across South Yorkshire – mentioning a potential future link from Doncaster Sheffield Airport into the town centre.
The mayor admitted work had to be done to convince both Doncaster and Barnsley councils on the idea of Supertram.
At present, both local authorities pay into the system despite the service not operating in each borough.
“I guess that’s my job as the mayor to achieve a consensus across all the local authorities in South Yorkshire,” he added.
“I’m very ambitious and optimistic from what we can achieve from tram-train and we can all be proud of the fact this is technology we have between Sheffield and Rotherham that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the country.
“I think it offers huge potential for the future and I’m clear I would want to roll it out more widely than we have but it’s still a trial so we’ll see how it goes and it’s for me to work with the local authorities and to draw down more investment.”
The event was attended by more than 100 people from various councils, businesses and public bodies.
“It’s about bringing people together to improve our transport network – I’ve consistently said it’s not fit for the 21st century and it’s a huge priority for me as the mayor,” he said.
“For the first time ever we have a transport strategy that all four councils have agreed to which works neatly with the work Transport for the North (TfN) are doing.”