South Yorkshire's high-speed railway route to be announced today

Residents on the Shimmer estate in Mexborough will find out the HS2 route today
Residents on the Shimmer estate in Mexborough will find out the HS2 route today
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The final route of the HS2 high-speed railway through South Yorkshire will be announced today.

Ministers suggested in November last year that the Manchester and Leeds arms of the line should serve the existing Sheffield city centre station, after proposals to run trains to the Meadowhall shopping centre were shelved.

But critics have warned this will mean homes on the new Shimmer housing estate in Mexborough will be bulldozed.

Some residents found out about the HS2 plans just weeks after moving into the development of new homes.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the Government will ensure communities affected by the railway receive 'appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect'.

The HS2 project is expected to cost around £55 billion.

Mr Grayling said: "HS2 will deliver vital links between some of our country's biggest cities, helping to drive economic growth and productivity in the North and Midlands.

"As well as providing desperately needed new seats and better connecting our major cities, HS2 will help re-balance our economy."

Joe Rukin of the Stop HS2 campaign said: "The case for HS2 has been invented by the very cheerleaders who intend to rake in billions of taxpayers' money which is desperately needed elsewhere, so it really is time to ditch this gigantic white elephant before it is too late."

In February, Parliament granted powers to build Phase 1 of the line, which is due to open in December 2026.

"This will see trains travel at high speed between London and Birmingham before running on from Birmingham on the existing West Coast Main Line.

Preparatory work has begun and major construction projects are due to launch in 2018/19.

Mr Grayling will soon publish a Bill to deliver Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe, with services expected to begin in 2027.

Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to the East Midlands and Leeds, is due to open in 2033.

The DfT released a study claiming HS2 could help to double the number of seats available to passengers suffering from overcrowded and infrequent trains in key northern towns and cities.

By freeing up space on existing lines there could be twice as many seats on rush hour services from Manchester Piccadilly towards Stoke, Crewe and the South, and from Leeds towards Wakefield, according to the report.

HS2 may also enable new direct trains from London to destinations such as Bolton, Rochdale and Grimsby, and from Manchester to Derby, the research found.