Latest Rail News

10.10.17

Sheffield business leaders voice key concerns for East Midlands franchise

A group of Sheffield organisations has sent a letter to the government listing 10 priorities to focus on ahead of the upcoming rail franchise bid.

The group consists of Sheffield City Region (SCR) LEP, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry, all major stakeholders in the East Midlands franchise.

The letter calls for better value fares on the Midland Main Line, which links Sheffield and London St Pancras in just over two hours.

It also voices concerns over electrification of the line and the introduction of bi-mode trains, which have been intermittent projects in the area.

Other priorities include improvement of the Liverpool-Norwich service and investment in Sheffield railway station and local services.

There was also an emphasis on the cost of rail fares, the East Midlands trains workforce, improving customer service and weekend and Bank Holiday services.

The letter also cites concern over the delay in the Hope Valley Northern Hub upgrade scheme, which the group see as essential in increasing the frequency of trains between Sheffield and Manchester.

The process ends Wednesday 11 October, and a new franchise - potentially with a new operator - will come into force in August 2019, following a tendering process.

Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the SCR LEP commented: “Here in Sheffield City Region we are already achieving transformational change and building a thriving, super-connected and successful economy.

“Transport links are an absolutely key part of this, and therefore it is crucial that the specification for the new franchise recognises that its area extends beyond the East Midlands and into South Yorkshire, including the vibrant core city of Sheffield.

“Myself and my co-signatories are united on the importance of the East Midlands franchise to Sheffield and the wider city region.”

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, added: “Good connectivity is a prerequisite for a strong economy and this franchise plays a fundamental part in the service we need to be successful going forward.

“We should not mix this up with discussions around HS2 and HS3, which are also necessary to address the capacity issues we are already experiencing.

“We would urge every business to feed into this consultation so the government understands how we, the business community, think how important this franchise is,” Wright concluded. “We haven't got long though!"

Top Image: Lynne Cameron, PA Archive

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

GB   15/10/2017 at 21:58

I would like to see the re-introduction of an EMT service from Manchester or Stockport to St Pancras to compete with the WCML franchisee which has currently has a monopoly. Such a service would restore the direct link to Derby, Leicester & etc., presently only possible with a change. If capacity at the London end is restricted, perhaps joining a Sheffield train at Derby would be practicable.

Graham Nalty   16/10/2017 at 12:07

A great idea, but would also have implications on capacity on the Hope Valley line. What I see from Derby is that Sheffield is the rail gateway to the populous towns of West Yorkshire and also to the rest of the northeast. There is the need to improve rail services from Sheffield further north and the ideal way to do this would be also to bring all the Leeds HS2 trains via Sheffield.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

17/04/2019Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

A new interactive map which lets passengers find out about accessibility at stations has been launched by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to help b... more >
Helium balloons causing ‘increasing number of train delays’ at cost of £1m

17/04/2019Helium balloons causing ‘increasing number of train delays’ at cost of £1m

Helium-filled balloons are causing hundreds of train delays at a cost of £1m in taxpayer money every year, Network Rail has revealed. ... more >
Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

17/04/2019Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

Plans for an £80m sea wall to protect the Dawlish coastal rail line from extreme weather have been by approved by Teignbridge District Coun... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >
Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

22/01/2019Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

In the jigsaw puzzle of regional transport decision-making, there must be collaboration and compromise. Midlands Connect media lead James Bovill ... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

08/04/2019West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

Malcolm Holmes, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Rail Executive, joins us to discuss the 30-year Rail Investment Strategy, and how he and his... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Changing the London skyline with HS2

26/03/2019Changing the London skyline with HS2

Lisa Hogben, HS2 programme delivery manager for area south enabling works, explains how the arrival of HS2’s first tower cranes shows chang... more >
Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

26/03/2019Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

In 2018 Steve Featherstone, programme director of track at Network Rail, set his team a challenge to secure 100 high-speed track handovers in a y... more >
26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >