Doncaster mayor Ros Jones denies HS2 support claim

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones has reiterated the council's opposition to the new HS2 line - following claims that all of the Sheffield City Region's leaders had backed the controversial new route.

Wednesday, 26th October 2016, 5:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th October 2016, 3:46 pm
Mayor Ros Jones

The local authority unanimously passed a motion opposing the route through the borough, which if given the go-ahead could lead to the demolition of at least 200 Doncaster homes, at a full council meeting on September 15.

But concerns were raised about whether the council had made a U-turn on the decision after the deputy leader of the Sheffield City Region (SCR) John Burrows told the BBC yesterday that leaders of all of the local authorities signed up to the SCR were now in favour of the route.

John Burrows said the leaders were in agreement following discussion at SCR meeting on Monday. He added: “I think the Sheffield City Region can work together, the local leaders are all collectively agreed on a spur route for HS2.”

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However, this was ‘strongly refuted’ by a Doncaster Council spokesman.

Mayor Ros Jones said of the claims: “Just to clarify our position on HS2, Doncaster does not support the new route proposed by Sir David Higgins in July 2016.

“The new route destroys much needed brand new and high quality houses, compromises potential new housing sites, cuts the number of trains and increases journey times, cuts all services to Birmingham and Leeds, and downgrades our city region connectivity to a slower, weaker alternative to the real thing.”

The claims were also disputed by a spokesman for the Sheffield City Region. They said: “Doncaster and Rotherham remain opposed to the new proposals put forward by HS2 Ltd earlier this year.”

The Sheffield City Region is comprised of the local authority areas of Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Sheffield, Barnsley, Chesterfield and Bassetlaw are all in favour of the new route, while Doncaster, Rotherham, North East Derbyshire and Bolsover are opposed to it.

The Derbyshire Dales local authority has not yet indicated support or opposition for the route.

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband, who says he is also opposed to the route, met with transport secretary Chris Grayling on Monday to discuss the high speed line proposals and deliver petitions and objection letters from his constituents.