Laws paving the way for Britain’s high speed rail network are to be announced in the Queen’s Speech this Wednesday - welcomed by Sheffield business leaders.
The Star understands two pieces of legislation are set to be passed over the coming year.
A ‘Paving Bill’ will alllow expenditure on design, while a ‘Hybrid Bill’ will give the go-ahead for planning and construction of the first section of line from London to Birmingham.
The bills aim to ‘send a clear message to investors this project is going ahead’.
Welcoming the announcement Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “This moves what has been proposed into reality. It’s one more step along the way - though we still have issues to sort out in terms of the route.”
The Government is consulting over the next year on the route for the northern extensions of the HS2 high speed network to Yorkshire and Manchester.
The route through Sheffield is proposed to run close to the M1 motorway, with a stop at Meadowhall. The journey time from there to London would be just one hour and nine minutes, with connecting trains up to nine times an hour from Sheffield Midland Station.
The Department for Transport said it would cost several billion pounds extra to run a line into Sheffield too, due to the need for extensive tunnelling.
Mr Wright said: “There will be a route through Meadowhall but representations are still being made about whether a loop should be built to stop in Sheffield itself. We have always said the Chamber will support the route which makes the most financial sense.”
But the route proposed by the Department for Transport has caused concerns in areas including Killamarsh, where some residents fear their homes will be lost, and among businesses near Meadowhall, which stand in the way of the line.