Chair of Transport for the North visits Doncaster Sheffield Airport

John Cridland, CBE, Chair of Transport for the North has visited Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) to meet with members of the management team and leaders of the Sheffield City Region LEP to hear about the airport’s plans for future growth and it’s capability to deliver a major new contribution to Northern aviation capacity for passengers and freight.

Transport for the North (TfN) is the organisation formed to transform the transport system across the North of England, providing infrastructure needed to drive economic growth.

A recent report on the economic role of international connectivity for the North of England published by the Independent International Connectivity Commission also chaired by John Cridland, identified the need to foster great global links across the North and deliver latent capacity available in the North of an additional 60m passengers per annum. The report stated that enhanced international connectivity can be a lever to drive growth, rather than just a response to it.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport sits as part of a 1,600 acre site known as Aero Centre Yorkshire with unconstrained capacity to handle up to 25 million passengers and 250,000 tonnes of cargo a year.  The airport is currently delivering £40m gross valued added per annum, supports 1000 jobs and currently one of the fastest growing airports in the UK.

The discussion focussed on the airport’s developing long term vision plan which will show how it can deliver a major international gateway for the east side of the country enabled in part by enhanced rail connectivity through a potential East Coast Mainline station at the airport.

Robert Hough, chairman of Peel Airports and Peel Group board member said: “We were delighted to welcome John Cridland to the airport today and to discuss with him our plans and unique capability to deliver significant new passenger and cargo capacity for the North and the wider UK.

“It was also welcome to hear from him on the priorities for Transport for the North and discuss how we at DSA can support to deliver greater connectivity for the North and associated economic benefits.”

John Cridland CBE, Chair of Transport for the North said: “I’m very grateful to the team at Doncaster Sheffield Airport for inviting me to visit and for discussing their exciting plans, which could play an important role in improving the North’s global connections.

“Enhancing the movement of both people and goods is vital to supporting economic growth and Doncaster Sheffield Airport is well placed to support improvements in both passenger travel and in freight and logistics. I look forward to working in partnership with leaders from the Sheffield City Region as Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan is developed.”

During the visit Mr Cridland met Robert Hough, chairman of Peel Airports and Peter Nears, strategic planning director of Peel Group, Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, Chris Scholey and Martin McKervey, private sector board members of the LEP.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership Board said: “The private-public partnership of the LEP were delighted to welcome John Cridland to the city region. It’s absolutely critical that Transport for the North understand our transport priorities – and the growth that can be unlocked through investing in the city region.

The LEP highlighted to him how growing Doncaster Sheffield Airport is a key priority for the city region.

We have been delighted to commit resources to help fund its growth, for example with £9.1million infrastructure funding made alongside local authority and private sector investment in the critical £56m link road running from jct 3 of the M18  .

We see DSA as a nationally significant airport and our emerging Transport Prospectus will look to highlight the importance of East Coast Mainline station connectivity for the airport as a priority.”

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