HS2 report ‘highlights’ need for Sheffield centre station

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The case for Sheffield’s HS2 high-speed train station to be located in the city centre rather than at Meadowhall has been boosted by a new report, council chiefs say.

The Independent Transport Commission has published a report into the regeneration and connectivity benefits of the European HSR network.

It draws on examples such as Rotterdam Central station in Amsterdam and Gare de Lyon in Paris to show how they improved transport links and encouraged development.

Campaigners have been fighting for the HS2 station to be at the old Victoria station in the city centre, as they believe it would be a key cog in revamping the area.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has not ruled out a city centre station, although project boss Sir David Higgins has backed the Meadowhall option.

Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for development at Sheffield Council, said: “This is about jobs, growth and return on investment.

“In the case studies in the report all the stations are located in the city centres, highlighting further that it is crucial for Sheffield City Region to have a city centre station.

“Transforming connections between our cities in the north is vital if we are to make the most of our unlocked economic potential and HS2 is a crucial part of this.

“An ambitious, integrated and planned approach towards infrastructure investment will enable us to achieve our ambitions for our economy.”

Construction of the HS2 line could begin in three years but it will not be complete until 2033.

Of the commission’s report, Mr McLoughlion said: “HS2 is the biggest infrastructure investment in the UK for a generation.

“So we’re keen to make sure we learn every possible lesson.

“Not just from HS1, here in the UK but also from other countries who have invested in high speed rail.

“The ITC has rigorously examined high speed rail projects on the continent and the experiences of cities like Lille, Rotterdam, and Antwerp can only help us.”