Homes under threat as HS2 route switches to Doncaster

HS2 is set to come through Doncaster
HS2 is set to come through Doncaster
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The M18 near Doncaster is being considered as the site of an HS2 parkway station – but homes face being demolished as part of the plans.

A major report published today is expected to show the route of the high speed rail link will cut through Doncaster instead of land between Sheffield and Rotherham.

Doncaster mayor in talks with Government over concerns about shock HS switch

It is expected to be routed past Conisbrough, Denaby and Mexborough.

The new route is set to follow the M1 and the M18 before heading north through the borough on its way to Leeds, cutting between Mexborough and Denaby.

The report is expected to say a new housing development between Mexborough and Conisbrough will be affected and there will be ‘impact on the landscape’ in parts of the Rother and Dearne valleys.

But overall it will mean fewer demolitions compared to the previous plan for a line between Sheffield and Rotherham and a stop at Meadowhall.

Now, instead of a station on a huge viaduct at the shopping centre, HS2 trains will use existing railway track to get into and out of Sheffield via Chesterfield and north through Rotherham.

It will mean Doncaster residents have a longer journey to reach HS2 but the borough is set to benefit from a forthcoming ‘Inter-City Express Programme’ to improve services on the East Coast Mainline.

It is understood the report will call for the ‘parkway’ station on the new M18/Eastern leg route to serve South Yorkshire. There are believed to be four sections of track in the county straight enough to build a station.

Sir David Higgins, the HS2 Ltd executive chairman said he was persuaded to ‘reflect and re-look’ at the proposed line due to the passion of the debate over the plans.

The report is expected to show a switch from Meadowhall to Midland station in Sheffield city centre.

It would be served by HS2 trains running on existing railway lines via a loop off the main HS2 north-south route. The move is set to save £1bn compared to the costs of building a two-mile viaduct at Meadowhall.

Sir David, who is in charge of the £55bn project, said putting the station through the centre of Sheffield was one of the most difficult decisions he had faced.

He added: “I was very aware of the campaign. The strength and unity from a business viewpoint and political leaders and Transport for the North made me reflect and re-look.

“Maybe in the case of Meadowhall we were pushing an engineering rather than an economic solution, despite support from Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster.”

The main HS2 line will have with a top speed of 225mph.