The heated debate over where to locate Sheffield’s station on the high speed rail network is unprecedented, according to a senior HS2 executive.
Beth West, commercial director of HS2 Limited, said the row between South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and the area’s four councils is the first of its kind since the £43 billion proposals were launched.
Sheffield Council is campaigning for the terminal to be located at the old Victoria Station site rather than the Government’s preferred site at Meadowhall.
Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster councils all favour Meadowhall and the PTE has described Sheffield Council’s position as a ‘hindrance’.
Ms West said: “It is Sheffield Council’s right to come up with responses to our consultation about the route but I am not aware there has been such intense debate anywhere else about the location of one of the stations.
“There will be a cost-benefit analysis of all ideas put forward during the consultation, including Sheffield’s proposal to re-route the main line via Victoria.”
Ms West spoke to The Star ahead of a conference tomorrow at the Source Skills Academy, Meadowhall, involving representatives of HS2, South Yorkshire councils and business leaders from around the area.
The event aims to ‘discuss the merits of a city centre high speed rail station, developing a joint approach to skills and how the wider region can benefit’ from the new network, due to be opened in the early 2030s.
Meanwhile, a separate event for businesses is to be held in South Yorkshire between 8am and 10am at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Brunel Way, Catcliffe, next Wednesday by financial adviser UKLLP and law firm Nabarro.
The event will focus on the compensation consultation process for firms on the proposed HS2 route.
Businesses can register for the event by emailing Ian.Doak@bnpparibas.com
■ Residents and businesses are forming a South Yorkshire Stop HS2 protest group.
A spokesman said: “The group will be looking to hold a public meeting in the very near future to ensure local politicians in South Yorkshire are fully aware of how they are failing the people they serve by supporting this vanity project, which will benefit London far more than the South Yorkshire region.”