PROJECT BACKGROUND IN THE PERIOD TO DECEMBER1990
A1.1 Sheffield and Rotherham Land Use and
Transportation Study (SRLUTS), completed in July 1976, recommended
a segregated passenger transport system on six corridors radiating
from the centre of Sheffield. In 1979 the South Yorkshire County
Council (SYCC) approved in principle safe-guarding the six corridors.
SYCC was then the Highway Authority.
A1.2 During 1982-83, preliminary studies
investigated the characteristics of different modes, for a line
from Hillsborough to Mosborough and options for Sheffield City
Centre and in 1984-85 technical evaluation reports were produced
for the Hillsborough to Mosborough line. At this time there were
also two significant Acts of Parliament, the Local Government
Act 1985 abolishing the Metropolitan Counties and the Transport
Act 1985. In 1986 abolition of SYCC transferred the Highway Authority
to the Metropolitan Districts and hence Sheffield City Council
(SCC) became the Highway Authority.
A1.3 Towards the end of 1985 (November),
a Bill was deposited in Parliament by SYPTE to seek powers to
develop and operate a system of light rapid transit. Royal Assent
for the first Bill was received in October 1988. During this same
period much of the transportation modelling work was undertaken
leading to the application to the Department of Transport (DoT)
for a section 56 grant towards the capital cost of the scheme.
At the end of 1988 (November) a further Bill was deposited for
the Lower Don Valley line between the City Centre and Meadowhall.
A1.4 In the spring of 1989 the SYPTE contracted
engineering consultants to produce a performance specification
for the design and construction of the Supertram infrastructure.
This was used as the basis for the invitation to tender by contractors.
A1.5 During 1989 a project team was formed
with the appointment of a Chief Executive to South Yorkshire Supertram
Limited (SYSL) a wholly owned subsidiary of SYPTE. In addition
to SYPTE and SYSL the project team consisted of project managers
and specialist consulting engineers.
A1.6 Also during 1989 the Lower Don Valley
line Bill received Royal Assent. There was a continuing dialogue
with the DoT on the financial and economic case for the project
and the project team refined the estimates and progressed selection
of the design and build contractor for the infrastructure and
the rolling stock. By the end of 1990 financial approval for the
project was given by the DoT.
A1.7 The approval was conditional on SYPTE
meeting a number of conditions in order to secure the DoT grant
under Section 56 of the Transport Act 1968. One of the major conditions
was the undertaking that the operation would be privatised and
the sale proceeds used to fund part of the capital cost. In order
to meet the requirement the SYPTE set up two companies South Yorkshire
Light Rail (SYLR) and SYSL. SYSL the operating company would be
A1.8 During 1991 contracts were placed with
Balfour Beatty for the infrastructure and Siemens for the rolling
stock. Construction commenced on the section from Park Square
to Meadowhall including the depot. Throughout the period 1992
to 1994 construction continued with the first tram delivered to
South Yorkshire in late 1993 to commence test running. The first
service open to the public commenced on 21 March 1994 from Fitzalan
Square to Meadowhall. In the period from March 1994 to October
1995 there was a progressive opening of various phases.