Transport experts to clash in Sheffield over high-speed rail plan

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Three transport experts will go head to head over plans for a HS2 high-speed rail network through South Yorkshire.

Sheffield Hallam University and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport will host Jim Steer, director of pro high-speed rail group Greengauge 21, Chris Stokes, former executive director for rail development at the Strategic Rail Authority, and Lord Anthony Berkeley, chairman of the Rail Freight Group at an event tomorrow night.

All three speakers have offered strong views on HS2. which will connect London with Birmingham, Sheffield and the north.

Jim Steer said recently that the project was one that would ‘build a bright future for Britain’ and ‘walking away from HS2 is a risk Britain just cannot afford to take’.

But Chris Stokes, who will argue against the HS2 development, has said he doubts the need for a high-speed link connecting London to the west Midlands and the north.

Tim Parker, a lecturer in logistics at Sheffield Hallam, said: “HS2 is an ambitious project that, if delivered as planned, should add capacity to Britain’s overcrowded rail network.

“Sheffield is centrally-placed in the UK’s infrastructure network and the university specialises in railway engineering management courses, so this event will put us at the heart of arguments for and against HS2.

“This event also celebrates the university’s link with the logistics industry, one of the biggest employment sectors.

“Whatever the outcome of HS2, there is no doubt our logistics and engineering students will be in greater demand once they graduate.”

n The event takes place in the university’s Cantor building from 5pm. To register, email Mr Parker at t.parker@shu.ac.uk