£47m Levelling Up funds for Penistone upgrade

Upgrade for Penistone line: passengers board at Huddersfield. Tony Miles

The Government has awarded £47.6 million to upgrade the Huddersfield to Sheffield via Penistone and Barnsley line from its third round of levelling up funding.

Line speeds will be upgraded and double track installed to boost capacity on the route, which is currently limited to one train per hour and with journey times of around 1hr 15min. Frequency will be doubled, and journey times reduced under the upgrade, although it is unclear how much the latter will be cut by.

Station improvements will also take place with accessibility and waiting facility upgrades. The project, which was led by Kirklees Council, will be delivered in partnership with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Network Rail, Northern, Sheffield City Council and the South and West Yorkshire combined authorities.

The only other major rail upgrade which has won funding is £20 million for Stafford’s Station Gateway project, which involves the creation of new homes, businesses, a car park and leisure and retail facilities to brownfield land around the station. A new Institute of Technology for the Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group, backed by organisations including Siemens, is already being built on the site.