Regeneration not purpose of HS2 plan

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When the building of HS2 was announced in a blaze of publicity, the key feature was the saving on time to travel to London from Leeds and Sheffield Meadowhall.

The business leaders and politicians in Sheffield have now taken a different position with many saying it doesn’t matter if journey times become slower as long as the station is built on the site of the former Victoria station in order to support city centre regeneration. This is not the purpose of HS2.

Sheffield already boasts good railway and motorway links and, for a short time, had an airport.

With regards to city centre regeneration, despite these, Sheffield has totally failed.

In terms of passengers using HS2 in Yorkshire, most outward journeys will be southwards.

The much-lamented Master Cutler Pullman ran as a morning train to London, returning late afternoon. There was no equivalent morning train bringing passengers north from London as there was no similar demand.

I am not convinced that city centre regeneration will be transformed by a new railway mainly taking passengers away from the city.

City leaders appear to see HS2 now as the only opportunity for a substantial boost to the city centre economy - a project that will not be completed until the year 2033 at the earliest, if ever.

J P Sanderson

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