Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has refused to rule out South Yorkshire’s HS2 station being built in Sheffield city centre – despite project boss Sir David Higgins backing the Meadowhall option earlier this week.
Mr McLoughlin says he is waiting for ‘further evidence’ before making a final decision.
He said: “Sir David remains convinced on current evidence that Sheffield Meadowhall is the right location for the South Yorkshire hub. I am waiting for further evidence from Sheffield before a final decision on this.”
Sir David said there is ‘insufficient evidence’ to support changing the preferred option of Meadowhall to the former Victoria station, in the city centre, which opponents say would be more expensive and increase journey times around South Yorkshire.
Political leaders in South Yorkshire are split on where the station should be located.
Mr McLoughlin has also revealed more details about a new body being set up to help improve transport links across the north – including the ‘HS3’ proposals to bring about faster rail links between major cities across the region.
He said: “We will create a new body called Transport for the North, made up of the main northern city regions. This body will work together with other authorities and stakeholders and allow the north to speak with one voice on the big decisions, to benefit the region as a whole.
“I would like to invite these cities to come together and work with the government on the options for HS3, alongside a wider transport strategy for the north. I intend that this Government-led strategy will be developed with input from Network Rail, the Highways Agency as well as TfN, and will stretch from Liverpool to Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle.”