Hope Valley Line passenger journeys to be transformed
I'm delighted that the Government has committed to a much-needed upgrade for the Hope Valley Line which will see passenger journeys transformed through greater capacity, and improved connections between Sheffield and Manchester.
This investment of £137 million provides a major opportunity to to bring new economic and social benefits to the communities served by this line.
This major inter-city rail route has, for a long time, fallen below the standard required for such an important line, leading to an inferior service and regular delays. The new £137 million Government investment will be used to improve the resilience of the line by building new passing loops, installing new signalling, and doubling track at frequent pinch points. This will allow for more regular and faster trains to run between Sheffield and Manchester, as well as to further onward destinations.
The route is of strategic importance for the whole of South Yorkshire, offering connecting services to Barnsley, Rotherham, and local commuter stations and for those using it for business and leisure travel to Manchester and Liverpool, and to Manchester Airport.
I firmly believe that improving transport links is vital to levelling-up, bringing new opportunities for economic growth and connecting people to jobs and services. Our local towns and villages in the North deserve this major investment in inter-city rail and I am confident that it will complement the local commuter schemes that I am campaigning for in my own constituency of Penistone and Stocksbridge.
This upgrade has long been called for by communities on both sides of the Pennines, and I was pleased to join a cross-party campaign lead by my colleague and constituency neighbour Robert Largan MP to lobby the Department for Transport to fund the line last year. You can read our joint letter below.
“We are committed to levelling up infrastructure across the North, and these important upgrades will make a huge difference to passengers, providing the punctual, reliable services they deserve, as we build back better from COVID-19.” Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris said:
Improved rail connectivity across the North will help to create an economic powerhouse, with an interconnected economy that can support new businesses and opportunities. This will be particularly important as we build back from the pandemic, and work towards our ambitious 'Net Zero' climate targets.