Sheffield Chamber’s Influential Transport Forum Meets for First Time

12th October 2022

Following the disruption caused by the pandemic, Sheffield Chamber has relaunched its influential transport forum.

The first meeting took place last week, with members from the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, public authorities, transport operators and sponsors Mott MacDonald all in attendance.

The forum has relaunched both in response to the current bus crisis and in 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 bus services would be cut and in September the Peel Group, owners of Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA), announced that DSA will close to commercial passenger services on 4 November 2022. 

Underpinned by four key pillars of activity, the forum will focus on information exchange; advocating active travel; championing achievable ‘quick wins’ with immediate impact; and creating a space for the business community to tackle these issues.

Focusing on making the region a better place by collaboratively driving change in the region’s transport system, the initial meeting identified a number of subtle changes that can be made immediately to have a positive impact, especially when it comes to marketing bus travel.

Although there is a limit to what the forum can influence, it can continue to report reliable and proactive information to help users wade through potentially unclear media messaging whilst encouraging different modes of transportation that benefit users and the region.

In Sheffield specifically, the culture and low carbon aspirations of the city is seeing a move away from an over-reliance on cars. Public transport, cycle lanes and pedestrian pathways around the city are helping to encourage more people to commute via more sustainable modes of transport. These changes are ones that not only release the pressure on the region’s transport system but make our communities safer, more welcoming and better for the environment.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard said:

“Everyone in South Yorkshire has the right to affordable, reliable and accessible public transport which gets us to the shops, to work and helps us see our friends and families. I’m committed to building the transport system our region needs and deserves, so I very much welcome the new Regional Transport Forum. The Forum will provide valuable business insight on transport issues and I look forward to working closely with its members over the coming months and years.”

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.”

Engineering, management and development consultancy firm Mott MacDonald – and new Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Patron – sponsor the transport forum.

To find out more, contact Sheffield Chamber of Commerce: https://www.scci.org.uk/contact/

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