A long-awaited scheme that will reduce delays and improve reliability for trains on the congested Sheffield to Manchester route is one step closer after having been given the green light by Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport.
The news has been welcomed by the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership who have been long-standing supporters and promoters of the improvement.
The decision, taken by the Transport Secretary of State, was to approve the granting of the Transport and Works Act order which is necessary, and a key step in the process to secure the much needed improvements to the Hope Valley line.
The Hope Valley route between Bamford and Dore is affected by slow freight trains, and the planned improvements will allow passenger trains to overtake. Currently two fast passenger trains an hour
Martin McKervey, lead member for transport on the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership Board, and a member of the Transport for the North Partnership Board, said: “Improved rail connections to Manchester are a key SCR priority and something we have been pressing very hard for with ministers, and something the private and public sectors have been working together to achieve for some time.”
Mr McKervey, a partner at international law firm CMS, added: “It’s good to see that the Secretary of State has been listening to us, and our collaborative efforts have paid off with this important decision.
“However, having had this breakthrough we will now be working with Network Rail to make sure the scheme happens.”