Sheffield Council urged to back Stocksbridge Supertram link

editorial image

A Sheffield councillor has called for a 'immediate' action to bring the Supertram to Stocksbridge.

Ukip's Jack Clarkson urged the city council to use its weight to push for the extension, as almost 800 homes were due to be built in the Upper Don Valley area.

Coun Clarkson said these new homes would cause a 'substantial increase' in road traffic that would be compounded by greater numbers of visitors to the new Fox Valley shopping centre.

He asked that the council made clear 'immediate' action should be taken to begin the process of extending the Supertram/rail link between Middlewood and Fox Valley, with stops at Oughtibridge, Wharncliffe Side, Deepcar and Stocksbridge.

He also called on the council to support Don Valley Railway's 2012 plans to re-use the freight line to Stocksbridge for passenger services.

Coun Clarkson highlighted a Star poll on possible Supertram extensions. So far 3,820 have voted, and of those, 28 per cent - by far the highest proportion - said they wanted a link to Stocksbridge.

In his motion, Coun Clarkson asked the council to support the statement that a link to Stocksbridge would be 'efficient and convenient for both local residents and visitors to use, would be environmentally cleaner, and would alleviate much of the existing congestion at traffic pinch points in the areas of Catch Bar Lane and Penistone Road which have for many years caused chaos for local people travelling to and from the city centre during the morning and evening rush hour'.

Labour councillors put forward an alternative motion, supporting the group's 'manifesto commitment to a metro system for Sheffield' and the development of a 'comprehensive transport strategy' for the whole city, including Stocksbridge.

The new motion also said the idea of expanding the tram network to Stocksbridge was put forward by the Labour group.

Coun Clarkson did not respond to a request for comment, but cabinet member for transport Mazher Iqbal said:

Councillor Mazher Iqbal Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure at Sheffield City Council said: “We recognise the importance of the Supertram network in providing high quality public transport to many parts of the city.

"Work to identify a potential expansion of the Supertram network will be taken forward as part of our proposals to develop a transport plan for Sheffield.

“I am pleased that a route towards Stocksbridge and North Sheffield has been officially welcomed and we will now develop this further, however significant support and investment within Sheffield City Region and financial support from central government will be essential in delivering an extended tram or tram-train network”.

The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, or SYPTE, held a consultation on the future of Supertram earlier this year. The feedback will be used to help transport bosses draft a strategy ahead of a bid for Government funding.

Plans for development in the Upper Don Valley include 417 homes off Station Road, Deepcar; 120 homes off Manchester Road, Stocksbridge; and 300 homes on the old paper mill site between Oughtibridge and Wharncliffe Side.