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Council set to bid for £85 million sustainable transport pot

Artist impression Fargate
Artist impression Fargate

Sheffield City Council, as part of Sheffield City Region (SCR), is set to ask for ‘Transforming Cities Fund’ money from the Department for Transport (DfT) that could see £85 million invested in sustainable travel in Sheffield over three years.

Councillor Bob Johnson, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Development, said: “We want to get people in Sheffield cycling, walking and using public transport more. But we know this is a big job and we need to support people to do this. These changes won’t happen overnight. That’s why we’re asking for this funding from government.

“If we are successful this money will pay for a mix of cycling, walking and bus corridors running throughout the city where we know they are most needed.”

These bids can only be put forward by Combined Authorities where they exist and in September 2018 SCR was confirmed as one of the areas across the country to have been shortlisted as eligible for the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF).

Councillor Johnson continued: “Encouraging a shift to low carbon, sustainable journeys is a key priority for us, and we understand this is exactly the sort of work the fund is designed to support. Throughout this process, we will be consulting and working with local communities in the development of these projects.

“The priority areas for investment have been identified from work already done on our Sheffield Transport Strategy. These aim to better link people with places of employment especially in the City Centre and the Lower Don Valley including Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) and nearby business parks. Detailed proposals will be worked up in conjunction with local communities as part of the bid to the Department for Transport.”

This work will build on earlier consultation during 2018 as part of the Sheffield City Council Transport Vision and Strategy.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “Our transport network here in South Yorkshire simply isn’t fit for purpose. That’s why, through our ambitious Transforming Cities bid, we aim to make it fit for the 21st century.

“We’ll do this by improving our infrastructure and public transport services, to reduce congestion and journey times, enable more people to walk and cycle, create better access to major employment sites, and improve punctuality, affordability and reliability.

“We’ve been working closely with partners including Sheffield City Council to ensure we get this right, and that our Sheffield City Region bid for £220m in funding – of which half is for Active Travel schemes - will drive the transformational change our communities deserve.”

It is expected that successful bids will be announced by DfT in March 2020. The programme will then run for three years – to be complete by March 2023.