In refuting recent suggestions that Sheffield might be cut out of HS2, a spokesman for the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, claimed (Sheffield Telegraph, May 26): ‘our plans for HS2 will benefit Sheffield by slashing journey times, providing a substantial boost to capacity and helping support the Northern Powerhouse.’
At present, it takes about two hours by train from Sheffield to St Pancras International, from where there are direct connections to Paris or Brussels – and, of course, vice versa – on the Midland Main Line, one of five high speed routes already in existence before HS1 was built.
The current plan is to site the HS2 London terminus at Euston, necessitating a tube, bus or taxi ride to connect with St Pancras – or, has now been suggested, at Old Oak Common, requiring a proposed extension of Crossrail to reach the Eurostar terminus.
In either case, time gained travelling on HS2 would be lost when changing trains!
The Government spokesman also said: “Locating the South Yorkshire Hub at Meadowhall remains our preferred option but we also acknowledge there are arguments in favour of a city centre station.”
That would, at least speed things up at this end, but would anyone actually get to the Continent – and vice versa – any faster than at present?
Daleview Road, Sheffield, S8