£200 million bid to Government to improve transport these areas in Doncaster

A bid worth over £200 million has been submitted to Government which could result in major improvements to transport in Doncaster.

By George Torr
Monday, 03 June, 2019, 17:55
A rapid bus transit system is planned between Doncaster and Barnsley

The announcement, made at a meeting of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority on Monday, outlines a proposal to focus on three specific ‘transport corridors’ across South Yorkshire.

Bosses at SCR predict the region could receive anywhere between £180 million to £220 million of Transforming Cities Fund money to spend on things such as railway station improvements, addressing congestion, promoting cycling and improving bus services.

If successful, South Yorkshire council leaders will look to focus on the River Don corridor which stretches from Sheffield city centre to the ongoing Unity development near Stainforth in Doncaster.

Another priority will be the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District which connects Sheffield and Rotherham with a specific focus on the Waverley area.

The Dearne Valley corridor is the third area focusing on settlements and links between Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster.

But the funding is not guaranteed because the region hasn’t got its devolution agreement signed off.

Improved access between Mexborough town centre and the rail station is part of the Transforming Cities Fund bid

Under a fully functional devolution agreement, Sheffield City Region would have automatically received around £120 million in the first phase of funding.

However, the region is expected to receive a certain pot of cash but the ‘low’ estimate of £180 million isn’t fully guaranteed.

Schemes included as part of the River Don programme include a potential new connection into the iPort site from Rossington for buses and active travel; better walking and cycling routes in Armthorpe; bus priority measures at key junctions in Doncaster; walking and cycling schemes to connect communities in Adwick and Bentley to their local rail stations and connecting Maltby to Rotherham town centre with bus lanes and junction improvements.

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In the Dearne Valley, plans include bus lanes and junction improvements on the A61; a Bus Rapid Transit scheme between Barnsley and Doncaster; bus priority measures on the A630; improved access between Mexborough town centre and the rail station; active travel improvements between Barnsley and Rotherham town centres and the Dearne Valley; and creating a new access into Parkgate, as well as a new 300-space park and ride site.

Connecting outlying settlements to the growing economic opportunity by providing a new connection into the iPort site from Rossington for buses and active travel modes is part of the Transforming Cities Fund bid

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones said the borough’s ‘advantageous position’ as having many links geographically locally, regionally and nationally, made it ‘imperative’ that investment in transport infrastructure should be high on the agenda when looking for funding.

“We must develop a more modern integrated transport system which helps people benefit from the education, employment, social and leisure opportunities in Doncaster," she said. 

“Added to that, walking and cycling as healthy ways to travel should be encouraged. This bid, if successful, will realise much-needed improvements to our bus and rail network.”

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “It is critical that we improve the transport system in our region, to create better access to major employment sites, reduce congestion, better integrate different modes of transport and make our transport network fit for the 21st century. 

"That's why it's so important that we get this Transforming Cities Fund bid right, and why we've been working closely with partners across South Yorkshire to ensure that our bid has real potential to drive transformational change for our communities.

"Improving our transport links is crucial for growing our economy as we develop a Global Innovation Corridor, linking residents and businesses to our internationally-significant assets in areas such as advanced manufacturing, health and wellbeing, and engineering.

"I now look forward to working with the Department for Transport as we develop our detailed plans.”