THE long-awaited announcement on the proposed high speed rail route through South Yorkshire has been delayed - as Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield criticised plans to locate the city’s station at Meadowhall.
The Department for Transport said plans for the network north of Birmingham will not be published until the New Year.
Details were meant to be made public last week.
Rail Minister Norman Baker has written to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, calling for Sheffield’s high speed station to be built at Meadowhall, not the old Victoria site in the city centre.
Paul Blomfield, Sheffield Central Labour MP, said: “I think the Rail Minister is getting it badly wrong by proposing our city’s station will be at Meadowhall.
“Unless the high speed station is in the centre of Sheffield we will not see significant journey time improvements.High speed rail journeys from Sheffield to London will take 1 hour 15 minutes, but getting to Meadowhall will add up to 30 minutes.
“The business benefits and investment will come from the station being at the heart of the city, and linking us to other cities centre-to-centre.”
Mr Baker said Victoria’s position made it unsuitable because the route would have to be on a loop off the main line, which could add to the cost of the project.
The DFT said it would fund improvements to public transport between Meadowhall and the rest of Sheffield if the area is chosen for the station.
However, transport sources said that if the high speed line runs through Meadowhall it would keep alive the hope that services could be restored on the old Woodhead line between Sheffield and Manchester.