Businesses to be asked about Sheffield City Region transport strategy

Martin McKervey

Businesses in the Sheffield City Region are to have their say on an ambitious plan to make transport fit for all following approval of public consultation plans.

The SCR Transport Strategy, which looks ahead to 2040, aims to boost economic growth by ensuring everyone can get to work easily, that streets are safe and healthy, the quality of the outdoors is improved, and that innovations in transport technologies are adopted.

It reflects the changes since the SCR’s 2011 Strategy, with the role of the Combined Authority, the establishment of Transport for the North, and the likely effect of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. New technologies have also had an impact.

The Strategy is intended benefit people living and working across the whole of the Sheffield City 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 linkages, 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 demonstrates 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.

The four key aims of the Strategy are to:

Inclusive growth

  • Grow the economy by £500million by increasing the numbers of people able to get to key employment sites and education by public transport in 30 minutes
  • Increase rail commuting between SCR and both Greater Manchester and Leeds City Regions by several thousand journeys daily
  • Ensure 90% of the population can reach a long-haul airport by public transport within 90 minutes
  • Bring 70% of people living in the most deprived areas within a 30-minute journey on public transport to a town, employment area or place of education

 Healthy, safe streets

  • Increase sustainable travel
  • Deliver reduced accident rates
  • Improve the quality of our outdoors with improved air quality, removing the need for designated Air Quality Management areas
  • Reduce tailpipe carbon emissions and have a zero carbon public transport network by 2040
  • Increase footfall in the main retail and leisure areas by 15%

Promote and adopt innovative technologies

  • Increase transport-focused R & D investment by £330m
  • Increase productivity by £75m through reducing journey times, and technology based efficiencies

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 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 on the city region’s priorities. The Strategy will be refined based on the comments received and will then enable us to commission schemes.”