Northern Rail Franchise Consultation Press Release 14 July 2014

DON VALLEY RAILWAY

PRESS RELEASE

14th July 2014

NOW IS THE TIME TO LET GOVERNMENT KNOW WE WANT THE DON VALLEY RAILWAY OPENED

Do you live in or near Oughtibridge, Deepcar, Stocksbridge or anywhere in the Upper Don Valley? Do you travel through this area? Or, would you like it to be easier to visit the beautiful countryside that formed the backdrop to the Tour de France as it sped through South Yorkshire?

If so, the time is nigh! Don Valley Railway, who want to introduce passenger trains on the line to Stocksbridge would like you to have your say and let the Government know as it seeks to renew the Northern Rail Franchise.

The line serving Tata Steelworks at Stocksbridge is generally used by only one train each way a day, It has good quality track and with the number of people living in the Upper Don Valley who travel towards Sheffield a passenger service is seen as a viable option for meeting the access needs of the area.

The Department for Transport has just announced its stakeholder consultation for the new Northern Rail Franchise which starts in February 2016. This invites interested people and organisations to get in touch and tell the DfT what sort of rail service people want.

THE DEADLINE FOR COMMENTS IS AUGUST 18TH

A recent petition gaining 2600 signatures has shown that there is a great appetite for introducing a passenger service on the line.

WIDER BENEFITS

Don Valley Railway’s proposals are currently being worked up with local developers and businesses to fit into the future development of Stocksbridge.

Our vision would be to have a central Stocksbridge Station linking into the Fox Valley development with a possible link to St Mathias Church – which could become a shared use facility.

Light Rapid Transit Vehicles designed and built by Parry People Movers of Cradley Heath, West Midlands currently operate on the 1 kilometre long branch line from Stourbridge Town to Stourbridge Junction. A larger version of these vehicles is proposed for the Don Valley Line but using the same innovative technology that has been developed which reduces the cost of operation.

Abelio, likely bidder and current co-franchisee for the Northern franchise has expressed an interest in Light Rapid Transit. The Northern Rail services are some of the most highly subsidized routes in the UK and it is hoped that the vehicles trialed on the Don Valley Line will be transferable to other locations helping branch lines move towards offering a break-even service.

The franchise bid document expresses a desire to reduce the burden on the taxpayer for supporting railways and seeks innovative new schemes to improve the provision of rail services.

So with the support of people and organisations in the area Don Valley Railway hope that rail services can be brought back and once again the train can reach this picturesque corner of Yorkshire.

You can contact the DfT

by Email at :

NorthernTPEconsultation2014@dft.gsi.gov.uk

By Post at :

NorthernTPEConsultation Co-ordinator,

4/15 Great Minster House,

33, Horseferry Road

London SW1P 4DR

You can see Don Valley Railway’s response and gather further information on our website at www.donvalleyrailway.org

Information on the consultation is also available on the DfT website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-northern-and-transpennine-express-rail-franchises

Notes

1, Don Valley Railway aims to introduce passenger services between Stocksbridge/Deepcar and central Sheffield using the currently freight-only railway line between and serving Tata Steelworks in Stocksbridge from Woodburn Junction in Sheffield with the future aspiration of extending this service along the route of the Woodhead Rail line from the Junction at Deepcar.

2, An engineering feasibility study find that the Don Valley Railway has the potential for operating a reliable commuter rail service along the route between Sheffield and Stocksbridge which it is hoped will contribute to creating a business case for the re-opening of passenger services on the rail link.

3, Don Valley Railway are currently working to develop a business plan for re-opening the line using Light Rapid Transit vehicles produced by Parry People Movers of Cradley Heath, West Midlands. They currently operate a smaller version of the train planned for this line on the 1 kilometre long branch line from Stourbridge Town to Stourbridge Junction.

4, Further Enquiries can be addressed to Chris Hyomes at chris.hyomes@railfuture.org.uk;

5, Further details on the website www.donvalleyrailway.org

RELEASE DATE 14th July 2014

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