Travel woe on way as Supertram work starts

News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.
News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

Tram passengers, motorists, residents and businesses around Hillsborough, Malin Bridge and Middlewood face disruption as the next stage of the replacement of worn-out Supertram tracks is rolled out.

Work is due to start from the end of this month, starting at Holme Lane and Hillsborough Corner, and expected to take about seven months, with buses being provided for tram passengers.

Details of the latest phase of a £32m programme to replace most of the Sheffield track over the next four years were released this week with a warning of “inevitable disruption” and passengers and drivers being advised to allow for longer journey times.

Hillsborough suffered extensive disturbance - and complaints - when the network was installed there in the 1990s. South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, operators Stagecoach Supertram and contractors VolkerRail say they aim to keep disruption to a minimum as the original tracks are replaced on the route to the north of the city.

They have the experience of the first stage of the replacement programme, from Spring Lane, off City Road, to Park Grange Croft at Norfolk Park, last summer.

David Young, deputy interim director general of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said the project was essential to the future of the system.

“During the work, there will be some short-term disruption for some tram users, residents and businesses and we would like to thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding.”

Work at Hillsborough Corner/Holme Lane inbound is scheduled for the weekend on March 28 to 31, before the focus moves to around Langsett Road/RipleyStreet. Some advance work will be carried out at night, which involves “some noise”.

The programme for Hillsborough, Malin Bridge and Middlewood is being split into four stages, and is expected to run until September.

Supertram managing director Margaret Kay said: “This project is essential to ensure Sheffield’s tram services can continue for years to come. During the works over the next few months, the majority of our services across the network will run as normal. However some sections of the system will be affected, with buses replacing trams at times. This will cause short-term disruption for some customers but we will be doing everything we can to minimise the impact of the works on our passengers.”

SYPTE and Stagecoach Supertram are funding the project, with the company paying for replacement buses and covering any reduced passenger revenue. The Government has given a £5m grant for the initial phase.