£48 million funding secured for Penistone Railway improvements

Barnsley Council has supported Kirklees Council in securing £48 million from the government's Levelling Up Fund to support with major improvements to the Penistone rail line. This substantial investment will enhance the rail infrastructure and connectivity between Huddersfield, Barnsley, and Sheffield.

The Penistone Line, a vital rail link serving communities between Huddersfield, Barnsley, and Sheffield. Today, journey times between Huddersfield and Sheffield are over 20 minutes slower than in the 1980s, clocking in at approximately 75 minutes.

The transformative vision behind the £47.9 million proposal is to create more reliable train services, improving access to stations, and support growth in jobs and housing along the route. These improvements aim to enable people along the Huddersfield, Barnsley and Sheffield corridor to access work, education, and leisure more efficiently while reducing their carbon impact.

The funding will be allocated to various enhancements, including Mobility Hubs at several stations, improved accessibility, an additional double track, passing loops, line speed improvements, and new fibre broadband along the railway. These improvements will act as a stepping stone toward a future half-hourly rail service.

The project will be delivered in partnership with Network Rail, Northern Rail, Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Combined Authority, and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Cllr Caroline Makinson, Deputy Leader of Barnsley Council said: “This funding represents a major step toward developing a more efficient and accessible Penistone Line.

"Not only will it support economic growth but it will improve the overall quality of life for communities along the route.

“We look forward to seeing enhanced connections to local services, with more efficient journey times, improved walking and cycling routes, and reduced carbon emissions.

“I’d like to congratulate Kirklees Council, I’m pleased that our support along with other partners has made securing this funding possible.”

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