LOCAL leaders in Barnsley have presented the Prime Minister with new proposals to ‘urgently unlock’ the benefits of devolution by opening the way to a single deal for the county.

One Yorkshire leaders, including Barnsley Central MP and Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis and council leader Sir Steve Houghton, published their proposals ahead of Yorkshire Day, which took place on Thursday.

They would see a series of interim devolution deals agreed across Yorkshire to run in parallel with the existing Sheffield City Region agreement.

Negotiations would continue with the government to have a One Yorkshire devolution agreement completed by 2022, the end of the current Dan Jarvis’ mayoral term.

An independent economic study has shown a One Yorkshire devolution deal could deliver economic benefits worth £30bn a year, or £5,400 per person.

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Dan added: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail, more powers for Mayors offering real devolution for communities, providing better bus services and committing greater funds for the Stronger Towns Fund.

“What the north really needs is a sustainable programme of investment to level regional inequalities and unlock our huge potential.

“This plan details a vision for the future of our rail services which will transform rail travel for our communities. We now need to see action, not just words.

“I will be doing what I can and will be working closely with fellow leaders in the north and with the Prime Minister and his cabinet to ensure we deliver.”

For Barnsley, the bold plan could see updated station platforms at the current interchange station ready for improved intercity links, as well as a raft of highway improvements to drive down congestion and drive up economic growth.

The Integrated Rail Plan, unveiled last month, sets out a vision for how the region will be better connected by high speed as well as conventional rail networks.

A key element of the plan is a proposed new Barnsley Dearne Valley railway station, expected to be in Goldthorpe, which will form part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail network which will connect Liverpool, Manchester and its airport, to Leeds, as well as linking to the proposed HS2 rail project.

The new Barnsley Dearne Valley station will offer connections to Sheffield in 12 minutes, Leeds in 15 minutes, York in 20 minutes, Birmingham Curzon Street in 56 minutes, and London Euston in 95 minutes.

“We’ve already applied for £200m of funding but the process requires us as a region to have this plan in place,” Dan added. “The important bit is that it has the support of all local authorities as well as Transport for the North and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

“Our railways aren’t fit for the 21st century and we need to urgently improve the services, the affordability of tickets, the frequency of train services and passengers’ experience.

“The important thing is that we get on and secure investment.”