Building Sheffield’s HS2 station in the city centre instead of Meadowhall would cost ‘at least’ an extra £1 billion, project boss Sir David Higgins has revealed.
The city’s link is currently due to be located at Meadowhall, but business leaders and Sheffield Council hope to see it based at the former Victoria station.
Sir David gave evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, who have published a critical new report about the Government’s £50bn plan for HS2.
He said Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster councils ‘passionately want’ the Meadowhall option.
Sir David added: “I did not recommend changing the line in Sheffield because it is at least £1 billion more to go through the city centre of Sheffield. It adds seven minutes to the journey time to Leeds, York and everywhere north.
“It would have to be a really compelling reason as to why you could justify that additional cost and impact on performance from going to Sheffield.”
Details of the precise costs of both station options have not been revealed.
But the House of Lords report said the Meadowhall location for HS2 is likely to have an impact on how much Sheffield benefits from the scheme.
It said: “Stations located outside city centres as proposed for Sheffield Meadowhall and the East Midlands Hub HS2 stations are less likely to bring economic benefit to the cities in which they are situated.
“Where stations cannot be located in city centres they must be properly connected into regional transport networks to ensure the maximum benefit is derived from them.”
It is intended that Sheffield will be part of the second phase of HS2, with the new station operational from the early 2030s.
The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership has backed calls for construction to be accelerated and said South Yorkshire will get ‘significant economic benefits’ from the new link.