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Letters: Conservation areas can also protect historic buildings from casual demolition

The comment by Adam Murray, director of Coda Planning, that he thinks a conservation area has stopped developments such as his proposed Mirador at Shalesmoor, misrepresents how such areas work (Telegraph, 4 October). 

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It really surprises me to read in your article (27/9/2018) on our valued, non-polluting Supertram system, that its future is jeopardised by the fact that the SYPTE has not financially provided for a rolling programme of renewal of the tram system, their knowing for some time that its equipment is reaching its planned renewal dates.

In comparison, I am sure that the Sheffield bus companies have an appropriate funding programme of regular vehicle replacement in place, in order to meet the 12-year projected life cycle of their varied bus fleets.

The Supertram tram vehicles are inherently strong vehicles and do not necessarily need to be scrapped on their 30th birthday. Other tram systems operate with mixed fleets of old and new tram vehicles, in the UK and especially in mainland Europe. 

Could the SYPTE also note that other UK and EU tram systems operate their tram systems by tailored renewal programmes, so that not required equipment replacements do not all occur at the same time?

And why has the SYPTE never pursued any real tram system expansions? There are low-cost opportunities where tram extensions could be completed in the Sheffield conurbation using existing available semi-redundant railway infrastructure, say to Dore or to Deepcar, thereby reducing the effects of the horrendous road traffic congestion that we suffer every working day,(i.e.:- tram extensions to where people live or work).. 

Also, has the SYPTE team ever been to see the Manchester tram network, for example, where the tram fleet has now grown to over 120 new vehicles and the whole tram system is continually being extended to new areas to meet demand and to cut traffic congestion?

To replace the trams by buses just reduces our public transport capacity and condemns us to use inferior quality bus transport that uses the city's crowded road system. Let us hope that Sheffield can access some of the money on offer from the Department of Transport so that our tram system can be retained and improved for the future.

Phillip Brown

Sheffield S11