The campaign for Sheffield’s high speed rail station to be in the city centre rather than at Meadowhall has been revived – with a claim it could create up to 6,000 extra jobs.
Sheffield Council is making a last-ditch bid for the Government to switch location of the terminal, at a seminar to discuss the economic benefits of the high speed network.
The debate, involving representatives of Sheffield businesses, is taking place on Tuesday at Electric Works from 8.30am.
Sheffield Council also believes a high speed station in the city centre – at the old Victoria Station site off the Wicker – would create £5 billion more growth than having a station at Meadowhall.
Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council cabinet member for business and development, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we have to get it right.
“High speed rail can bring economic growth to the entire city region, but to maximise that we have to ensure the station is where it will have the biggest regeneration benefit. The evidence is very clear that is in the city centre.
“This is about getting the maximum return for the entire city region.”
Supporters of the Victoria Station option – which have included Sheffield Council’s opposition Liberal Democrats – say the benefits of faster journeys to London will be reduced by the extra time taken to travel out of the city.
Coun Bramall said: “The Victoria route would cost more to build than the Meadowhall option but the council’s study suggests this would more than pay for itself.
“We would see up to 6,000 new jobs created if the station is built at Victoria. Some studies go so far as saying the benefits to the region of the Victoria option could be anything from £2bn to £5bn.”
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has told The Star the option of a station at Sheffield Victoria has been discounted because it would have to be built as a ‘loop’ off the main line, which is running parallel to the M1.
The cost of tunnelling to bring the line into Sheffield from the north would run into billions and there would be fewer services than at a station on the mainline, he said.