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Agenda item

Notice of Motion Regarding "Securing Better Transport for Sheffield and The North" - Given By Councillor Jack Scott and To Be Seconded by Councillor Olivia Blake

That this Council:-


(a)       welcomes the confirmation by the Government that high-speed services will run into Sheffield Midland station, and notes that the Labour Group have always championed the benefits of a city centre location for HS2 as this is where the greatest economic impact, transport benefits and job creation will be delivered;


(b)       applauds the leadership, determination and hard work of the Council Leader, Councillor Julie Dore, in securing a HS2 city centre location, which will bring the maximum benefits for the whole of South Yorkshire;


(c)        affirms that a city centre location is vital to ensuring Sheffield is well placed to maximise the benefits of HS2, and allows for the integration of HS2 with HS3, but believes this must extend to the north as well as to the south;


(d)       highlights that whilst we welcome the fact that HS2 Ltd have committed to funding a junction, this Administration will be seeking further commitments from the Government to ensure that the connection north of Sheffield is funded to enable high speed connections out of Midland and up to places like Leeds and Newcastle;


(e)       notes that despite the hugely positive news that HS2 will be coming to the centre of Sheffield, the Government have cancelled the electrification of the Midland Mainline which was due to be electrified by 2023; the Government have decided that 'bi-mode' trains - which can switch from electric to diesel power – will instead be introduced;


(f)        believes that this move is outrageous and will deny Sheffield faster, greener, more reliable train journeys which would have been a big boost to our economy and would have led to significantly improved air quality, another key aspiration of this Administration, particularly given the Government's woefully inadequate Air Quality Plan;


(g)       believes that the Government’s decision to cancel the electrification of the Midland Mainline is even more outrageous, given that the Government are continuing with Crossrail 2, a new London rail line, which will cost around £30 billion - denoting that whilst there is extra money for the south, the north continues to get neglected under this Government;


(h)       notes that despite this significant setback, it is encouraging that HS2 Ltd said they would ensure that Sheffield was HS2-ready so it could benefit from a spur into the city centre off the main line, being, therefore, unaffected by the Government’s decision regarding the lack of electrification on the existing line from Sheffield to Kettering, and that this Administration will continue to hold HS2 Ltd to account to ensure this happens;


(i)         believes that as a nation we are too London-centric and too centralised; and that much more needs to be done to empower all England’s regions; figures from the think-tank Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) show that funding per head in London for transport is £3,400 compared to just £427 per head in the north, and in total the north would have seen £59 billion more for transport if funded the same as London, and therefore, support is given to calls from Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, for this to be addressed urgently;


(j)         states that the disparity between transport in the north of England and London must now be addressed and reiterates comments made by Council Leader, Councillor Julie Dore, prior to the transport summit in Leeds, that the Government must:-


(i)         commit to making an integrated transport network across the whole of the north and especially a commitment to a Northern Powerhouse Rail; and


(ii)        commit to upgrades that will make an immediate difference – particularly reversing their decision to cancel the electrification of the Midland Mainline.