LRTA logo Light Rail Transit Association
Light Rail for better public transport

Sheffield Supertram

Network News Archive

Rush-Hour Only Bus Gate - 28 February 2009

The bus gate at Hillsborough corner, Sheffield, is set to have enforcement hours cut to peak times only for a trial period. The gates, which restrict private vehicles, will only operate between 7am and 11am and between 3pm and 7pm Mondays to Saturdays compared with 7am to 7pm currently. The changes could cost £9,000, plus £5,000 to £10,000 for a major campaign to advertise them.

The move will inevitably lengthen public transport journey times through the district, which have fallen by up to 51 % for trams and 22.5% for buses since the present camera enforcement scheme began. This has led to a 19 % increase in passengers, equivalent to 2,500 more passengers each day.

Incredibly the Lib-Dem controlled City Council’s report on the issue says that by relaxing restrictions there will be an increase in traffic congestion and could lead to more accidents on Langsett Road and Middlewood Road. At the same time the City Council is saying it shares a concern of the Chamber of Commerce which reports that congestion is holding up the prosperity of the city and a senior Liberal Councillor Ian Auckland declares that “Our key priority is tackling congestion”!!

Both Langsett and Middlewood Roads are public transport corridors served by trams and buses. These services will therefore be severely affected. It is proposed that the changes would be monitored in three, six and 12 months, to assess the impact on public transport journey times, shopping trends and accident levels.

Sheffield City Council introduced the restrictions several years ago in an attempt to ease congestion at the crossroads for buses and trams and more recently started to enforce the rules with cameras to record offenders. Earlier studies showed that most of the through traffic entering the Hillsborough Shopping Centre actually did just that, it passed through. Only a minority were shoppers in the Centre.

A petition against relaxing the Hillsborough busgate operating hours

If you wish to offer your support to this petition, please see Stagecoach Supertram’s web site.


Refresh Update (From Supertram Web Site) - 28 February 2009

Tram 116 has now had its refresh completed. It is the twenty fifth and final tram to be refreshed. Work will shortly be starting on our secondary refresh programme which will comprise of a complete undercarriage overhaul..

Stagecoach Supertram has received excellent feedback from all sections of the tram and light rail world. This is based on the design, innovation, speed, quality and value for money of our refresh program.

Fleet availability was been placed under a lot of pressure during the refresh with only 23 trams out of a pool of 24 in service during that time. No other system in the UK can come close to these availability figures. This is made possible because of the close working relationship between the maintenance and operations departments.

Stagecoach Supertram Maintenance limited are the only UK light rail company to attempt and successfully carry out a refresh onsite, effecting the majority of the work using their own staff. None of the above would have been possible, without good people and we are proud of all staff at Supertram in particular the maintenance and project team.


Supertram gets regional approval to buy four trams - 4 & 28 February 2009

SYPTA (now SYITA) submitted a bid to the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Transport Board, in October 2008, for support in the procurement of 4 additional tram vehicles, at a cost of GBP14.3m, for the current system. This bid has now been backed by the Board and will be presented to the DfT in the near future. If this is successful it would bring the total number of vehicles on the network to 28 and frequencies on the Yellow route, Middlewood to Meadowhall could be improved to every 7 ½ minute intervals from 10 minute at present and from 10 minute to 8 minute on the Blue route Malin Bridge to Halfway. A new operation from Gleadless Townend to Hillsborough with a number of short workings, could also be introduced.

Since the system opened in 1993 the number of passengers has risen steadily with 14.8m passenger journeys made in 2007-08, up from 14m the previous year.

29 August 2003

A second round of intensive consultation on the proposed extensions has been launched by the Transport Executive.

To get the widest possible public involvement this further consultation will include a series of public exhibitions during Autumn 2003. In addition, newsletters containing a questionnaire will be made available for members of the public and businesses in Sheffield and Rotherham.


NETWORK NEWS: Extensions Report

13 May 2003

The PTA approved the extensions report last Thursday 8 May (see item dated 22 October 2002 and also www.supertramextensions.com. The report can be found at South Yorkshire PTA agenda page Item 7.

The Sheffield Area of the LRTA issued the following press release:

The Light Rail Transit Association (LRTA) is pleased that the report on Supertram extensions in South Yorkshire has been published and hopes that the Passenger Transport Authority will approve further work.

The Supertram system in Sheffield has proved very popular and is now a symbol of Sheffield's modernisation together with various aspects of the Heart of the City project such as the new Peace Gardens and the Winter Gardens. It has been successful in attracting motorists with 22% of passengers previously using cars.

Now is the time to take the project further with extensions to Totley, Ranmoor, Rotherham, Parkgate and Hellaby as proposed by the extensions study.

The Dore & Totley route is of interest not just to the residents along the route who would benefit from it, but also to visitors to the City Centre, since its construction would make all parts of the City Centre accessible by tram, not just High Street and West Street.

An alignment down the Moor would revitalise what is a run-down area. Trams work well in pedestrian precincts because of their predictable route, unlike buses which can be dangerous in such situations. They are also non-polluting at the point of service and relatively quiet.

Taking the tram through Rotherham town centre would also have a very positive regeneration effect and, just as trams now bring visitors to Sheffield City Centre from Meadowhall as well as the obvious flow towards Meadowhall, passengers might be attracted to Rotherham whereas at present they would never think of going there. The system would also serve the Magna Centre and help relieve traffic congestion at M1 Junction 34.

The LRTA is pleased that the results of public consultation have been highly positive, especially in Sheffield and this should encourage SYPTE to proceed. It would be tragic if the efforts of a few NIMBYs were to be allowed to spoil the prospect of improved transport for the rest of the public. We urge the PTA not to bow to NIMBY pressure, nor to the biased campaign organised by the "Rotherham Advertiser".

Whilst the funding for the scheme is not guaranteed at present, we urge the PTA not to let this stand in the way of action, since the rules seem to change quite frequently and if there were to be a more favourable funding regime in future (bearing in mind the support for light rail from the Strategic Rail Authority) then South Yorkshire would receive nothing if plans were not in place.

There are, however, reservations about the methods of appraisal used by the consultants for this scheme and their expertise in the planning of light rail schemes. In particular, the routing of the Totley line over Havelock Bridge to take it on the wrong side of the Midland Main Line instead of accessing the line next to Cutler's Walk is strange. So is the suggestion that the line might cross the cricket pitch in Millhouses Park when a better route would be across the car park. Indeed, the plan in the report now seems to show it using the car park alignment. And the termination of the line at Dore instead of Totley is bizarre. It beggars belief that there would be 5.8 million passengers per year to Dore and only an extra 100,000 per year if the line was extended to Totley, bearing in mind that a terminus at Dore Station would be before the Dore/Totley built-up area starts!

We would also urge the PTE to consider two extensions to existing lines. The Malin Bridge and Herdings lines are under-utilised. The former line was originally planned to go to Stannington but this was rejected at the time because of problems which would be caused by the running of a double-track line up Stannington Road, primarily because of the removal of residents' car parking spaces. However, a single track loop going up Stannington Road and down Wood Lane would not cause the same problems, would serve more people and only require one extra tram (not four as suggested by the consultants when they dismissed the idea of running to Stannington). Thus the patronage of the existing service would be greatly enhanced, making the whole system more viable.

The extension of the Herdings line up Raeburn Road and back along Norton Avenue would serve the new Lightwood development and a developer contribution could help pay for this. A park and ride site could be created here to relieve the A61 into Sheffield.

Finally, although the report does not recommend proceeding with the route to the Northern General Hospital at present, we would urge the City Council to take account of its likely route when planning road alignments in the Shalesmoor area.

Peter Fox

Area Officer, Sheffield, LRTA


NETWORK NEWS: Progress report

A short visit to Sheffield on 23rd November confirmed that the new footbridge, entrance, and tram stop were all now in use. The new entrance is wide, has an attractive entry building with stylish roof, and leads to a wide footbridge from which there is access to all platforms and the ticket hallway. The old entrance at the extreme northern end of platform 6 has been closed and most of the stairway linking platform and tram stop has been removed. The former tram stop platforms and shelter remain in place meantime. At Meadowhall a canopy has been built over the island tramway platform and extends for the length of a tram - ie extends for about half of the length of the platform. Traffic at intermediate stops along the Meadowhall route has improved immensely since the early days and it is some since I made a journey along this route and had no traffic at any stop. The site of the former car park at Cricket Inn Road (replaced by Nunnery Square Car Park) has been occupied by a Matalan outlet.

Iain D.O. Frew.

4 December 2002


NETWORK NEWS: Views sought on Supertram extension proposals

The public of South Yorkshire are to be asked to make their views known on extending the Supertram system to ensure that there is sufficient public support for the proposals. Feasibility studies by engineers and transport planners have identified a number of possible areas that could benefit from being served by a Supertram extension. These include:

Features of any extension will include: Staffed exhibitions of the proposals are due to run from 4 November to 13 November, starting at 12.00 noon and finishing at 19.00 on each day.

The following locations have been confirmed already, with further venues to be announced shortly:

Arrangements are being made for unstaffed exhibitions to run 4 November to 12 December at the following venues (again, further venues to be announced shortly):

22 October 2002


NETWORK NEWS: New tram stop for Supertram Network

With a new tram stop due for construction located close to the entrance of Pannell, Kerr, Forster premises, near the bottom of Park Grange Road in the Norfolk Park area, residents have helped come up with a new name for the tram stop: "Park Grange Croft".  Work that will take approximately twelve weeks to complete will begin on the stop in the summer after extensive consultation with local residents about the stop.

Supertram Webmaster
09 May 2001


NETWORK NEWS: Station Improvements

The Midland Main Line Train Operating Company has signed contracts for £30m worth of improvement work at Sheffield Midland station. Included in the plans is a much better access to the tram stop from the main footbridge across the middle of the station. The tram stop will have to be moved a little to the south so that it will be adjacent to the new entrance.

Iain D.O. Frew
March 2001


NETWORK NEWS: The Overground Launched

First Mainline, who currently co-operate with Stagecoach Supertram with multi-modal ticketing, have recently launched a revised network of routes in the Sheffield area.  Many of the new high speed, high frequency routes either follow or link to the Supertram network.  It is expected that there will be an increase in passengers using Supertram now that is it easier to access from other areas.
 


NETWORK NEWS: South Yorkshire's Local Transport Plan submitted

South Yorkshire Joint Secretariat, of which South Yorkshire Transport Authority is a member, has submitted the first Local Transport Plan from 2001-2006 to the Government recently.  Plans for expansion of Supertram are included.
No longer available!

top of page



SUPERTRAM DEVELOPMENT

The planned (or rumoured) future Supertram network includes lines to:

Sheffield Hospitals

The extension to Sheffield's Hospital complex is currently top priority.  The route has had extensive studies carried out.  It will be a one stop single line extension of the Herdings Park - Cathedral Purple Route, diverging from West Street (on Yellow Route), to travel up Glossop Road towards the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

No new Supertrams would be needed.  Recently it has been announced the line may be a loop instead.  Obviously the loop route will cost more and involve more trackwork, although it is not known whether more trams will be needed.

Sheffield City Centre Loop

The regeneration team of Sheffield City Centre has a project entitled "tram extensions".  The idea has been around for two years, resurfacing recently.

Rotherham

Using disused BR railway to Rotherham, or possibly using central reservation of Parkway.

Oughtibridge / Stocksbridge

Continuation of Yellow Route through Don Valley / A6102 corridor north through suburbs out of Sheffield.  Possibly using former Woodhead Route alignment.

Sheffield City Airport / Catcliffe

Extension of Yellow Route from Meadowhall, through Tinsley, with a stop at Sheffield City Airport, continuing to a possible Park & Ride site in Catcliffe by the M1.
 



top of page