The Sheffield City Region, Doncaster Council and the Peel Group (owners of Doncaster Sheffield Airport) have taken a major step forward today by submitting an outline business case to the Government which could deliver a new national and regional rail connection to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
With just 4.5 miles of new track required, the proposed GatewayEast Growth Hub Rail scheme will add high speed electrified rail connectivity to the UK’s fastest growing airport, alleviate congestion on the East Coast Mainline (ECML), creating an airport with great potential to expand by making use of largely existing infrastructure.
The scheme delivers 33,000 jobs in the North within the next ten years, 10,000 of them deliverable within just five years.
Critically, the plans quadruple the number of people with Airport access via a sustainable transport mode from 2.4 million to 9 million within a 90-minute rail journey. It reduces the need for 18,000 Trans Pennine journeys taken by car, many of them through a national park, to the North West and removing 80 million road miles to more distant airports, taking around 23,000 tonnes of CO2 off the UK’s road network.
The submission today of a detailed business case by the three partners seeks inclusion of the project in the Department for Transport (DfT’s) Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline. A critical step in getting the project funded and off the ground.
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “We have an exceptional record of delivering major infrastructure schemes on time and in budget that boost the economy and see real growth. This GatewayEast Growth Hub Rail scheme is ‘oven ready’ and demonstrates how Doncaster can deliver the North’s essential economic growth ambitions, delivering jobs and housing locally and by unlocking further economic potential at the airport, our borough, Sheffield City Region and across the North. The rail connectivity will quadruple access to the growth hub for jobs and flights by a sustainable travel mode taking 23,000 tonnes of CO2 off the road network.”
Robert Hough CBE, Chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA), said: “An East Coast Mainline station situated at DSA demonstrates exceptional value for money for the tax-payer with a 22:1 return on its £300m investment. Furthermore, this would be a strong signal to the North of the Government’s promise in levelling up. The return on investment from this scheme is greater than the forecast benefits of the entire Eastern leg of HS2 but delivering years in advance and fully complementary. It is essentially ‘shovel-ready’ and deliverable within five years.”
The GatewayEast Growth Hub Rail scheme will provide a new rail connection to the East Coast Mainline (ECML) and the Lincoln line, with a new rail station to be located at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, and will provide a powerful catalyst for growth across the entire Sheffield City Region, North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.