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Have your say on ambitious region-wide transport plans

A consultation has begun to give people a say on Sheffield City Region’s draft Transport Strategy, which covers the Chesterfield area.

The strategy aims to grow the regional economy by £500 million, boosting economic growth by making it easier for people, particularly those in the most deprived areas, to get to work or places of education.

Looking ahead as far as 2040, the strategy aims to make the best use of the latest transport technologies, and to improve air quality – particularly in those areas that suffer most from pollution.

The strategy, which has been produced together with local authority partners, highlights the fundamental role that transport plays in enabling economic growth. It also demonstrates a commitment to national transport programmes that benefit Sheffield City Region.

Martin McKervey, transport lead for the SCR’s Local Enterprise Partnership, said that the strategy would be refined based on comments received during the consultation.

He said: “While we have already achieved a great deal in terms of building a thriving, super-connected and successful economy, such as making multi-million pound road improvements, introducing new tram-trains and contributing to the continuing growth of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, we know there is more that needs to be done.

“We want to make it easier for commuters to reach core cities in the North, improve air quality through sustainable travel, and also do the very best we can to enable people in our most deprived communities to reach places of employment, education and leisure by public transport.

“That’s why I would encourage everyone to have their say on this strategy, which will shape our ambitions for transport across the region and impact upon the day to day lives of all of us in decades to come.”

A key aim of the SCR Transport Strategy involves growing the city region’s economy by £500 million, by increasing the numbers of people able to get to key employment sites and education by public transport in 30 minutes. It also aims to increase rail commuting between the SCR and both Greater Manchester and Leeds City Regions by several thousand journeys daily, and ensuring 90 per cent of the region’s population can reach a long-haul airport by public transport within 90 minutes.

Other aims include creating healthy, safe streets by increasing sustainable travel, delivering reduced accident rates, improving air quality, having a zero-carbon public transport network by 2040 and boosting footfall in the main retail and leisure areas by 15 per cent.

There is also an aim to increase transport-focused research and development investment by £330 million, and to increase productivity by £75 million through reducing journey times and using technology-based efficiencies.

The consultation will also involve businesses, public transport operators, Peel Airports which runs Doncaster Sheffield Airport, special interest groups such as Friends of the Earth and Natural England, and stakeholders such as MPs, local authorities and parish councils.

The SCR strategy has been published as Transport for the North (TfN) launches a consultation on its own new draft Strategic Transport Plan later this month.

The TfN plan outlines the transport infrastructure needed to transform the economy of the North over the next 30 years, in line with the Northern Powerhouse agenda, stretching from the Sheffield City Region to the North East and from Liverpool to Hull.

People can take part in the consultation, which runs until March, on the Sheffield City Region website.  Details of the consultation will also be on display in key transport and community points across the region.

First published on 09 January 2018 Last updated on 09 January 2018