Exclusive look at HS2 vision for city

hs2ram'Artist's impression of high speed rail train
hs2ram'Artist's impression of high speed rail train
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A VAST raised railway line passing above Meadowhall and dwarfing the Tinsley Viaduct - this is the first image of how the new High Speed Railway might look in Sheffield.

The picture shows the sheer size of the development which is planned to connect the region with London.

The image, illustrating how transport bosses would want a station at Meadowhall to look, is exclusively revealed in The Star today.

It is taken from a top-level report submitted to Government officials by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority. The 68-page document - which looks at the best ways to spend millions of pounds of HS2-linked transport funding promised by Whitehall - also proposes:

new Supertram lines to Fulwood, Page Hall and Waverley, as well as Dore, to better connect the city to High Speed Rail.

a new road route from the M1 to the shopping centre.

a vast multi-storey, 1,314 space car park for HS2 passengers.

a relocated and expanded bus interchange at Meadowhall.

new tram-trains between Barnsley and Sheffield.

an additional two platforms for local services at the new Meadowhall hub.

Although no final decision has yet been made to locate the HS2 station at Meadowhall, many of the proposals included in the report would still be seen as essential even if the hub was eventually built in the city centre.

Decisions on what projects the Government will help fund are expected to be announced when a final ruling has been made on the route of HS2.

David Young, deputy interim director general of SYPTE, said: “This is preliminary work as the government has yet to make a firm decision about where to site a HS2 station in the Sheffield city region, but SYPTE firmly believes that an improved local transport network, including the Supertram or Tram-Train, should serve any new HS2 station.”

“It is important that any HS2 station for the Sheffield City Region is as well connected to local transport infrastructure as can be in order to fully maximise the economic benefits. To this end we are working to examine how this connectivity can be put in place.”

The Meadowhall location is favoured by Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin. He has promised hundreds of millions of pounds for cross-city transport improvements as part of the HS2 package

Referring to proposals to extend the Supertram, Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister and MP for Sheffield Hallam, said: “Personally I have always been extremely sympathetic with the argument that Supertram should be extended to the south west. It has long been an ambition of many of the community groups and residents I have spoken to in my own constituency.

“Clearly there is a lot of work to be done including winning the backing of the relevant local authorities, but we have opened the door to the possibility of a tram service returning to the likes of Millhouses and Dore.”

Northern sections of High Speed 2 - numbered after High Speed 1, the route from the Channel Tunnel into London - will be open by 2033.

The project will cost £50 billion.

Location of proposals thrown into doubt

IT looks like a vision of transport from the future.

But proposals for Sheffield’s High Speed 2 railway station to be located at Meadowhall - illustrated in this exclusive image - were dramatically thrown into doubt last night when deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s office said the door was still open to the possibility of a city centre site.

The revelation follows months of behind-the-scene lobbying from Sheffield City Council to have the station located on the site of the old Victoria Station. Advocates say it would make more economic sense for the whole region.

Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council member for business, has argued that a city centre station would create 10,000 jobs compared with 4,000. Richard Wright, director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, had said it would benefit business.

Coun Harry Harpham, deputy leader of the council, said: “This is fantastic news. We have said all along a city site would be better not just for Sheffield but for the whole city region. It makes more sense for jobs, for the economy and for development.”

Nick Clegg, deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP, is to host a meeting with business leaders to discuss the option.

A spokesman for Mr Clegg said: “Although there are outstanding issues over affordability and the potential to cause disruption to the local community which the initial proposal from the Department for Transport outlined, the door isn’t closed on the possibility of a city centre location for Sheffield.

“Wherever the station is HS2 is great news for our area as it will bring new jobs and investment whilst ensuring we have a rail network fit for the modern world.”