'˜Extend current city centre station for Sheffield HS2' rail group urge
An independent railway campaign group has backed a call for a Sheffield city centre HS2 hub at an extended Midland station.
The Yorkshire chair of Railfuture, said a ‘two-tiered or enlarged Midland station’ with links to the Bus station and the Supertram would be the best option.
The group say this would mean expansion underground or by expanding westwards onto land currently occupied by road and part of the bus station.
Sheffield Council’s proposal is to re-open Sheffield Victoria station near the Wicker which closed in 1970.
Campaigners also shunned the idea of a Meadowhall station stating it would be a ‘disadvantage’ to the Sheffield City Region and called a central location the ‘most sense’.
Yorkshire Railfuture chair Nina Smith said: “As one of the prime benefits of HS3 will be a very fast connection between Sheffield and Manchester, it makes no sense to lengthen that journey time by terminating outside Sheffield city centre.
“Sheffield is the economic powerhouse and hub of a city region that goes south to Chesterfield and has close links with Derby, as well as its links to Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster to the North. From this perspective, a High Speed station in central Sheffield makes most sense.
“However, it is vital that the Sheffield high speed station is properly linked to the conventional rail network to facilitate high speed and classic routes interchange.
“That means the high speed line should use an enlarged Sheffield Midland, either at a new underground level, or by expanding westwards onto land currently occupied by a road and part of the bus station.
“The latter would necessitate putting the road into a tunnel and revamping the bus station.
There are concerns for a Midland expansion would mean extra tunnelling costs.
“I assume that it if high speed rail is to serve central Sheffield, it will need to be tunnelled. Cost must not be allowed to be an obstacle to the optimum long term solution,” Ms Smith said.
“Tunnelling technology has advanced, is being widely used on Crossrail, and will be on certain southern and midlands sections of HS2, as well as Crossrail 2.
“A fully integrated transport hub based on a two-level or enlarged Sheffield Midland station, linked to the Ponds Forge Bus Station and to Supertram will be an enormous asset to the city, and must surely greatly assist the City regions development and regeneration.
A Department for Transport spokesman said Meadowhall was the Government’s preferred option but the idea of a city centre station was still on the table.
The decision on where the station will be is set to be made in the Autumn.