A major public consultation will be launched early in the New Year so that the public in the Sheffield City Region (SCR) can have their say on an updated Transport Strategy making transport fit for all.
The Strategy aims to grow the economy by £500million by increasing the numbers of people able to get to work and education by public transport in just 30 minutes, to improve air quality, and to make the best use of the latest technologies.
Following the SCR Combined Authority’s agreement to publicly consult on its updated Transport Strategy, an online questionnaire will open on 8 January and remain open for responses until the end of March. Responses can also be taken by post or email, with details posted after the New Year in key transport and community points across the Region.
The SCR Transport Strategy, which looks ahead to 2040, aims to boost economic growth by ensuring everyone can access work opportunities easily, that streets are safe and healthy, the air quality improved, and that innovations in transport technologies are adopted.
Transport for the North (TfN) – which is set to become the country’s first sub-national statutory transport body – is also due to launch a consultation on its new draft Strategic Transport Plan early in the New Year. 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.
The SCR Strategy reflects the changes in transport that have developed since the City Region’s 2011 transport plan, with the roles of the Combined Authority, Transport for the North, and the likely impact of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. New technologies will also have an effect on transport in the future
The SCR Strategy will benefit people living and working across the whole of the region, and has been produced in liaison with local authority partners. It will help bring forward and support schemes that benefit businesses and communities, strengthen links, and promote joint investment.
The Strategy highlights the fundamental role that transport will play in delivering the SCR plans for economic growth, and emphasises a steadfast commitment to supporting national transport infrastructure programmes that benefit the City Region.
It outlines the region’s ambitions for improved connectivity to the wider North as a core part of the Northern Powerhouse; and sets out priorities for improving the City Region’s transport network through investment, building on its successful Infrastructure Fund programme.
Martin McKervey, a member of the SCR’s Local Enterprise Partnership, said “Our vision is to continue to be a forward-looking city region, with integrated transport connections that support economic growth and improve quality of life for all.
“I am delighted that we are launching this plan for consultation, so that we can get the public’s views before we start commissioning work. The Strategy will be refined based on the comments received.”
The four key aims of the Strategy are:
To grow the economy inclusively by £500million by increasing the numbers of people able to get to key employment sites and education by public transport in 30 minutes and to increase rail commuting between the SCR and both Greater Manchester and Leeds City Regions by several thousand journeys daily. This also means ensuring 90% of the population can reach a long-haul airport by public transport within 90 minutes, and bringing 70% of people living in the most deprived areas within a 30-minute journey on public transport to a town, employment areas or education.
To create healthy, safe streets by increasing sustainable travel, delivering reduced accident rates, improving air quality, and reducing tailpipe carbon emissions. Other aims are to have a zero carbon public transport network by 2040 and to have increased footfall in the main retail and leisure areas by 15%.
To adopt innovative technologies by increasing transport-focussed R & D investment by £330million, and to increase productivity by £75million through reducing journey times and using technology-based efficiencies.
The consultation process will involve MPS, local authorities and parish councils; businesses; and train and bus operators and Peel airports. It will also include special interest groups such as Friends of the Earth and Natural England, consumer groups such as Transport Focus, Sustrans, and tenants’ and residents’ associations.
Notes to Editors
This Transport Strategy updates and supersedes the policies and measures of the previous Transport Strategy, published in 2011. It forms part of the Local Transport Plan (LTP) and is adopted by the SCR Combined Authority as the Local Transport Body for South Yorkshire.
The Combined Authority has a duty to consult publicly on the transport strategy