PUBLIC CONTROL OF SOUTH YORKSHIRE TRAM SYSTEM GIVEN GREEN LIGHT
Published 19 October 2022 at 9:48am
South Yorkshire will have a publicly owned, publicly operated tram network from 2024, as regional leaders approve plans for the system’s future.
The move means the running of Supertram services, infrastructure and finances will be controlled by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) when Stagecoach’s current contract for operation of the network ends.
The plan forms part of the region’s wider ambitions to upgrade Supertram, as part of a fully integrated public transport network.
South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard said:
“Our transport ambitions - for how our communities get to jobs or education, and how they visit family and friends - must work for the whole of our region and for a generation to come.
“Supertram has been part of South Yorkshire’s fabric for nearly thirty years. In the next thirty years, it will play a critical role in helping us reach our net zero goal. Now, I am pleased to be able to say that it will do so as a publicly owned, publicly operated venture.
“Full public control of Supertram is an exciting new chapter for our tram network. It will help us to develop a long-term, integrated approach that fits with our wider plans for buses, rail, walking and cycling across South Yorkshire.”
Opened in 1994, South Yorkshire's Supertram system cost £240m and now serves major residential and employment sites in Sheffield. A Tram Train project extended the network to Rotherham in 2018.
SYMCA recently secured a £100 million Government grant to modernise parts of the system, including track and infrastructure improvements and better facilities for passengers.
A 2018 consultation on the Future of Supertram found strong public support for proposed investment running at nearly ninety-percent (88%) of local residents, businesses, visitors and community groups. The majority of respondents (68.3%) stated they would travel by car if the tram was no longer available.
South Yorkshire leaders approved proposals to create an ‘arm’s length’ publicly owned company to run the region’s tram system at the Mayoral Combined Authority Board meeting on 18 October. Stagecoach's operating contract for Supertram ends in March 2024.
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