Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 1


  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 privatised.

  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.

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