By Declan Maher
The plans for a train and tram scheme that would connect Sheffield and Rotherham has been delayed for a second time.
The scheme was supposed to start in 2015, but was delayed until 2017 and has been delayed again by Network Rail.
A South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive spokesperson said: “We have been notified by Network Rail that they can no longer compete their Tram Train infrastructure works to timetable, for passenger services to start in early 2017 as planned.”
Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce said: “This setback is frustrating, as we have just finished a consultation process with Rotherham town centre, of which the Tram Train project was a key part of it.
“When the Super Tram first came about it was known as the “South Yorkshire” Super Tram, however has been exclusively in Sheffield for 25 years. This proposal would have help develop it into a truly South Yorkshire Super Tram.”
He speculated that the reason for the delay is due to power issues to the line, however SYPTE rejected this and said that “it is delayed simply because nothing has yet been built.”
Network Rail, who are carrying out the development, say that the benefits will be better access to jobs, education and leisure facilities, improving connections between Sheffield and Rotherham, and minimising congestion on the roads.
It has been a bad week for public transport in Yorkshire, after the proposed Trolleybus in Leeds was also scrapped.