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Sheffield City Region opens consultation on £500m growth plan

Sheffield City Region (SCR) bosses have confirmed a consultation on major transport plans expected to grow the local economy by £500m.

The Transport Strategy aims to increase the number of people able to get to work and education on public transport within 30 minutes.

Transport for the North (TfN) – which is set to become the country’s first sub-national transport body – is also due to launch a consultation on its own strategy next year.

The Sheffield strategy is said to reflect the likely impact of future transport projects like HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, attempting to capitalise on these advancements.

Martin McKervey, a member of the SCR’s LEP, commented: “Our vision is to continue to be a forward-looking city region, with integrated transport connections that support economic growth and improve quality of life for all.

“I am delighted that we are launching this plan for consultation, so that we can get the public’s views before we start commissioning work. The strategy will be refined based on the comments received.”

The Transport Strategy is part of the SCR’s wider growth plans, it sets out four key aims including ensuring that 90% of the population can reach a long-haul airport by public transport within 90 minutes and bringing 70% of people from the most deprived areas of the region within a 30-minute journey of a town, employment area or place of education.

The plan also commits to increasing investment in regional transport focused research and development projects by £330m and improving productivity by £75m through reduced journey times and technology based-efficiency.

Other aims are to have a zero-carbon public transport network by 2040 and to have increased footfall in the main retail and leisure areas by 15%.

The consultation, launched in the New Year, will involve MPs, local authorities, businesses, and transport operators as well as some special interest groups.

The announcement comes days after Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham revealed a major overhaul of the regions transport network.

Burnham said problems with transport in the north could “no longer be ignored” as he announced the creation of a Strategic Transport Board, which will monitor projects and ensure decisions are made in line with joined-up services.

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