Plans to locate Sheffield’s HS2 station in the city centre was today hailed as ‘fantastic news’ by city leaders – but has split opinion among the public.
Business leaders, education chiefs and politicians have praised the decision to build the stop at Midland rail station.
Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore said the announcement was ‘fantastic news’ for the city and praised a campaign by The Star to have the station in the city centre.
She said: “We are delighted Government has finally recognised the greater economic impact of a city centre station. We have made the case for a city centre station since the original proposals were published because it demonstrated the potential to generate many more thousands of jobs.
“We couldn’t have achieved this without the local business community and The Star’s wonderful campaign.”
Star reader Mark Hamilton Stewart agreed. He said: “Really happy with that. It means saving on tickets for us than paying twice from the city centre to Meadowhall then Meadowhall to London and return too.
Thank god they’ve scrapped the plan and moved it to the city centre in Sheffield.”
Paul Ibbotson said: “Good. It will hopefully help to increase footfall into the city centre.”
He added: “Sheffield may have the station but it will help bring people into the South Yorkshire area in general. Maybe by then the tram-train will take people from the station into Rotherham. It’s all about bringing up-to-date our antiquated rail infrastructure.
“We can’t have an HS2 station in every town. Sheffield being a major city, it will of course have the HS2 station.”
Garry Weatherall, from Sheffield, added: “Good news for Sheffield.”
Courtney Swallow, aged 19, from Stocksbridge said: “I think it’s a good idea creating all the jobs. It will make Sheffield a better place.”
Isaac Blaug, 28, from Broad Lane, said: “It sounds like moving the station from Meadowhall to the city centre will potentially be good for jobs and for travel times to London and other cities.”
But Julian Nodder said: “This might be good news for Sheffield but as per normal ignores the needs of the rest of South Yorkshire.”
And Andrew Stringer added: “So much for serving the city region, this is clearly all about protectionism and an abject shame on other local councils in the region for not pushing more forcibly for the Meadowhall option.
“The only positive to come out of this is that it will run into the Midland station rather than Victoria.”
Professor Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “This is fantastic news for both the city and the region. Locating the HS2 station in Sheffield city centre will deliver significant benefits for the region as a whole, driving more jobs and investment. The evidence from economic history is that cities are catalysts for economic growth in their regions.”
Richard Wright, executive director at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce said: “We welcome the announcement that the proper process had been followed and the final position for the HS2 station announced.
“These are massive decisions that will affect our economy for many years so they must be correct. Work must now start on the design of the station and surrounding areas but more importantly the connectivity with the rest of the region to drive the maximum benefits.”
A spokesman for the Sheffield City Region, which includes representatives from Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster, said: “We have always stated that the region wants a HS2 station location that has maximum benefit to residents and businesses.
“The National Audit Office report indicates that any change in the proposed route may have negative impacts for a number of communities that make up the Sheffield City Region. It is of fundamental importance that any residents and communities affected are supported by HS2 and the Government.”