South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis in 'urgent meetings' after reports eastern leg of HS2 will be scrapped

Sheffield is braced for the cancellation of the eastern leg of HS2 through Yorkshire to save money.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 11:52 am

South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis is holding ‘urgent meetings’ with colleagues today following reports in inews.co.uk it would fall victim to cuts.

It is also reported a new line from Leeds to Manchester will be axed in favour of upgrades to existing lines.

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Sheffield is braced for the cancellation of the eastern leg of HS2 through Yorkshire to save money.

The details will be in the long-delayed Integrated Rail Plan - a blueprint for rail across the country - set to be published on Thursday.

WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT OFFERING SHEFFIELD AS COMPENSATION?

It is understood that, as compensation for scrapping the final leg of HS2, there will be improvements between Leeds and Sheffield, electrification of the Midland mainline between London and Sheffield and a new high-speed route from Birmingham to East Midlands Parkway, just south of Nottingham.

The downgrades, if confirmed, will be met with dismay and fury in the North where politicians and stakeholders have been campaigning for HS2 in full and Northern Powerhouse Rail for years.

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said it was time for the Government to deliver new lines including NPR “in full”.

“We haven’t had a major new rail line in the north since the Victorians and it means our infrastructure is simply not fit for a 21st century economy,” he said.

“Connecting the great cities of the north from Liverpool across to Hull and Newcastle was at the heart of the original Northern Powerhouse vision.

“We can’t deliver that long-term vision to close the North-South divide or decarbonise our transport system without new lines.”

Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake, who represents Thirsk and Malton in North Yorkshire, said: “If we lose key elements alongside losing the final phase of HS2 we are missing the point here, we are not willing to put our money where our mouth is.”

WHY HAS CONSERVATIVE MP MIRIAM CATES CHANGED HER MIND ON HS2?

Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Stocksbridge, campaigned for HS2 until October when she announced she had changed her mind and now favoured improvements to regional connectivity only. She said it was too expensive, Sheffield station wasn’t big enough, commuter routes needed to be developed, Zoom meetings had killed demand and she wanted a new, local line to Stocksbridge.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Work is continuing on the Integrated Rail Plan. We will publish it shortly and do not comment on speculation.”

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