Train-travelling public urged to add their support to calls for rail future

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TRANSPORT chiefs in South Yorkshire are calling on the public to add their voices to calls for a High Speed Rail system to include the county.

At a meeting in Barnsley the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, made up of councillors from all four districts, gave its backing to plans to build the system, which supporters say would boost employment and business in the region.

The Government is currently consulting on plans to build a Y-shaped High Speed Rail network from London to the West Midlands, which would then fork with one arm going to Manchester and the other through the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and on to Leeds.

The consultation closes on Friday, July 29, but the proposals are facing opposition from some areas closer to London.

Now councillors are calling on South Yorkshire residents to vocalise their support for the plans.

Mick Jameson, chairman of SYITA, said: “It is vital South Yorkshire is connected to the proposed High Speed Rail network.

“The system will be as important to us and generations to come as our current rail lines to London or the M1 motorway.

“We urge people to visit the DfT’s website and fill in their details giving their support for the project.

“The more people who express their support, the more chance it will actually get built.”

Supporters say 91 per cent of businesses in South Yorkshire are in favour of the network including the county in its route.

It would be able to take trains travelling at up to 250mph, slashing journey times between South Yorkshire and London to one hour and 15 minutes.

Log on to www.highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk to comment.