‘Make your ruddy mind up’ on HS2

Peter Richardson, Chairman of D2N2 LEP.
Peter Richardson, Chairman of D2N2 LEP.
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A Midlands business leader has urged Sheffield to “make your ruddy mind up” over HS2 warning that any delay “looks like you’re not interested.”

Peter Richardson, chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, said they were “challenged” by Sheffield’s “inability to determine where it wants the station.”

It could delay building their station at Toton, on the border of the two counties, and hit economic growth in the East Midlands, he added.

Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership has never stated a preference between Meadowhall - the Government’s choice - and Sheffield city centre.

The Star is campaigning for a city centre station to maximise the economic benefit of the line - HS2 Ltd’s own figures show it would create 6,500 more jobs.

Mr Richardson told a business audience in Derby: “When we are dealing in a political environment, any delay looks like you are not interested in it. We are challenged right now around HS2 by Sheffield’s inability to determine where it wants the station for HS2.

“If Sheffield can’t get its act together, that has a real impact on whether Toton will be sooner rather than later.

“It’s really important when we talking to our friends in Sheffield that we say, ‘make your ruddy mind up, get real, get your local authorities and senior businessmen around the table and decide,’ because indecision is not a good thing. These things are important.”

Sir Nigel Knowles, the new chair of Sheffield City Region LEP, was unavailable for comment.

A spokesman said they wanted HS2 to “deliver maximum economic benefit for the region” and be “fully integrated” with the Northern Powerhouse rail network, dubbed HS3. But they “recognised the advantages of both station locations.”