City leaders are intensely lobbying the Government to make sure the planned High Speed Rail network has a stop in Sheffield rather than at new South Yorkshire Parkway station.
A line through the county is planned and ministers have confirmed there will be a station in South Yorkshire but no location has been decided. Cities like Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham all have stations in the plans.
Siting a ‘parkway’ station away from Sheffield could remove the benefits of the faster line because of commuting.
Sheffield Council leader Coun Julie Dore, speaking at an event to promote High Speed Rail in Barker’s Pool, said: “I am pushing for Sheffield. We are the fourth largest city in the country and it is absolutely imperative that the station is in Sheffield. It provides the best opportunity for the local economy.”
Les Sturch, Sheffield Council director of development, said: “Options for a city centre station in Sheffield are being explored. It is not right that we should ignore Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Chesterfield but Sheffield is at the centre of the region. That is where the station ought to be.”
Officials are not willing to disclose potential routes, but the line through the old Victoria Station in the city centre is straight enough for trains to travel at high speed and has plenty of room for more track.
Coun Ian Auckland, opposition Lib Dem transport spokesman, said: “I’m fully backing the Yes to High Speed Rail campaign - I know local businesses and residents will support this investment.”
But Stan Dixon, who stopped to speak to officials, said: “There is talk about how the line will make it faster for people to get to London when it should be used to attract people northwards.”
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