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Where There's Hope...

A multimillion-pound upgrade to the Hope Valley railway line between Sheffield and Manchester has been announced by the government. The £137m scheme to "design and deliver" the improvements was revealed in the House of Commons.

In October 2019 Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis demanded an urgent government meeting when it emerged the work would not begin until 2023. Now he says the service will bring a "significant boost" to the region.

Andrew Stephenson, the Minister of State at the Department for Transport said the money would be used to "design and deliver the upgrade to the Hope Valley line between Sheffield and Manchester".

Dan Jarvis said the announcement had come after three years of lobbying and efforts to improve poor service on the line. He said: "This is a significant boost for our region. I'm pleased that our persistence has paid off, and that ministers have finally listened to our calls to deliver long-awaited investment in this critical line between Sheffield and Manchester."

The upgrade to the line - which connects 4.2 million people between Sheffield and Greater Manchester - aims to reduce delays, improve reliability of trains and add a third direct train per hour.

Mr Jarvis said: "It's overdue but welcome progress, however we need the government to go much further if they are to level up South Yorkshire and the north."

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