The government has approved a programme of £137m upgrades on the rail line connecting Sheffield and Manchester.

Transport minister Andrew Stephenson confirmed in parliament this week that the money will be spent on creating two freight-passing loops to alleviate bottlenecking plus a second platform will be added at Dore and Totley Station.

David Hoggarth, Strategic Rail Director at Transport for the North, said: “This line has suffered for years with slower trains holding up faster ones, leading to cancellations, delays, and unreliable services for passengers. It currently has some of the slowest train speeds on the North’s rail network, meaning people often resort to travelling by car.

“It’s great news that investment will now go into this vital commuter corridor, whilst longer-term upgrades as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail are finalised.”

Transport for the North’s latest statutory advice to Government also calls for longer-term, significant investment in the Hope Valley corridor as part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail project, which is expected to feature in the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan, anticipated to publish in the spring.