Doncaster Sheffield Airport owners, the Peel Group, alongside Sheffield City Region and Doncaster Council have submitted an outline business case to deliver a new national and regional rail connection to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
The GatewayEast Growth Hub Rail scheme will introduce 4.5 miles of new track, connecting the East Coast Mainline (ECML) and the Lincoln line to a newly built station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport. The project aims to reduce congestion on the ECML and encourage growth in infrastructure for Sheffield and the surrounding areas. It is hoped that the railway will be operational by 2025.
The scheme is expected to have a “positive economic impact” as it has the potential to deliver 33,000 jobs in the North within the next decade – 10,000 would be deliverable in the next five years – in engineering, aviation manufacturing, energy and construction. Additionally, as the number of people who can access the airport through sustainable transport increases from 2.4 million to 9 million, it will also have an impact on the environment. There is to be an expected reduction of 18,000 car journeys which ultimately will result in the elimination of around 23,000 tonnes of CO2 in the UK’s road network.
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster said, “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.”
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted an overall rise of passengers in the aviation industry to 8.2 billion by 2037 but showed a decrease in the demand within the UK industry. In response to this potential undersupply of future aviation, the scheme looks to connect the airport directly to East and West Coast mainline at high speed in order to increase its accessibility.
Peter Kennan, Board Member on the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership commented, “The importance of rail access to Doncaster Sheffield Airport cannot be underestimated…and development of ground transportation to the airport and its surrounding commercial and residential developments will be a major spur to further significant growth in jobs and economic opportunity all in an environmentally sustainable way.”
Dan Jarvis, MBE MP Mayor of the Sheffield City Region commented, “The benefits to communities and businesses through connecting the country’s fastest growing regional airport to the national and regional rail network are huge. We have to make sure that we get people off our roads and onto sustainable public transport. This investment would help make that a reality.”