High speed rail route options announcement delayed

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potential route options for the new high speed rail network including the line through South Yorkshire will not be made public until the autumn, the Government has revealed.

The line is part of the second phase of the HS2 network, which will see tracks laid north of Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. The Leeds line will pass between Derby and Nottingham to Sheffield then West Yorkshire. A station is to be built in the Sheffield area.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We are to receive advice from HS2 Limited on route options by the end of the week and will consider this advice objectively and in detail over the coming months.

“We intend to publish it in the autumn together with a Government response setting out initial preferred route and station options.

“We are particularly keen to ensure that the network best supports the economic potential of the cities and regions it serves, through well-integrated station locations that build on local and regional plans.”

The Government said there is a delay on publishing route options so ministers can choose their preferred line for public consultation - minimising the risk of planning blight.

The spokeswoman said: It is for this reason that we expect to publish once the department has reached a view on routes and station options. Publishing a detailed range of possible options without an indication of the Government’s preferences would generate unnecessary and harmful blight across areas that ultimately might never be affected by the lines.

“Following publication, the input of interested parties, including MPs and their constituents, will be valuable to help develop the proposals that will go forward for subsequent formal public consultation. Only once a full consultation has been launched and completed will any decisions be reached.”