Sheffield Chamber relaunches influential Transport Forum

26th September 2022

Following the disruption caused by the pandemic, rising fuel costs and several bus crises, Sheffield Chamber is relaunching its influential transport forum.

This seeks to collaborate on transport enhancements across transport modes, stakeholder organisations and regional boundaries. In keeping with the close partnership working between the Chambers in Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham, the forum will be open to Chamber members, public authorities and transport operators from across South Yorkshire.

With the support of new Sheffield Chamber Patron, Mott MacDonald, the relaunched South Yorkshire-wide transport forum will focus on making the region a better place by collaboratively driving change in the region’s transport system so that travel can better support growth in the economy.

The forum relaunches in response to the current bus crisis and transports’ environmental impact whilst recognising the permanent change in travel patterns post pandemic and through acknowledging that the economy of the region will not be able to grow without strong transport provision.

In June, South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard announced that the region’s services would be cut by a third.

Cllr Terry Fox, Sheffield Council leader, has previously called for a public transport system “that meets the needs of people living and working across our region”.

The Transport Forum will be underpinned by four pillars of activity, which are: information exchange; advocating and supporting the growth of cycle-to-work schemes; championing achievable ‘quick wins’ that could have immediate impact; and creating a space for the business community’s entrepreneurial spirit to tackle transport issues and challenges which face the region. The forum will be a central focus for the business community to come up with practical ways to innovate and challenge the status quo.

The forum aims to be meaningful and have impact in the real economy - by not simply being a place to talk - but establishing an association that will drive worthwhile change, taking on board the perspectives of local businesses, especially those of SMEs.

New Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Patron, engineering, management and development consultancy firm Mott MacDonald decided to sponsor the transport forum as part of their ongoing purpose to improve social outcomes for all.

Beth Longden, regional lead for South Yorkshire at Mott Macdonald, said:

“As a local business, South Yorkshire is a region we are passionate about and fully committed to. There is so much potential and it is vital we create and deliver significant long-term positive social outcomes for the city region and its residents. We are delighted to sponsor the Transport Forum and look forward to working closely with local stakeholders to create a transport system that works for all.”

Sam Chapman, senior vice president of innovation, co-founder of The Floow and co-chair of the Transport Forum, said:

“We have defined clear goals that we want to achieve in the next 12 months. I look forward to being part of it, working with strategic organisations across the region and driving positive change forward for all.

“We will play a meaningful role in the enhancement of a transport system that is safe, reliable, clean, green, and affordable.”

Peter Kennan, Private Sector Co-chair of the Transport and Environment Board at the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and co-chair of the Transport Forum, added:

“Having been involved in the Sheffield Chamber Transport Forum for many years, it is fantastic that this forum is now region wide. Its mission is to help South Yorkshire be home to one of the best transport systems in the United Kingdom, something which can only be achieved when we work together.”

The first full meeting will be held on September 28 where Chamber members will hear about the new remit of the forum, discuss the Forum’s business plan and future work, as well as discuss initial updates on key activity across the region.

To find out more, contact Sheffield Chamber of Commerce:

Photo caption (left to right): Alexis Krachai, Beth Longden (MM), Sam Chapman, Peter Kennan, Janet Himan (MM) and Martin Revill (MM).

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