Government '˜fully committed' to HS2 in Sheffield region

The Government is still '˜fully committed' to an HS2 hub in the Sheffield region despite reports the city could be dropped from the rail-link plans.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 4:38 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2016, 4:43 pm
Artist's impression of the HS2 station in Sheffield city centre

Shadow transport secretary Lilian Greenwood said there have been suggestions Sheffield may be cut out of the HS2 plans in what she described as a ‘secretive downgrading’.

But a spokesman for Transport Secretary and Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin said this was not the case.

A Department for Transport spokesman said the Government remained ‘fully committed’ to a station in the Sheffield City Region.

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The spokesman said: “Our plans for HS2 will benefit Sheffield by slashing journey times, providing a substantial boost to capacity and helping support the Northern Powerhouse.

“Locating the South Yorkshire Hub at Meadowhall remains our preferred option but we also acknowledge there are arguments in favour of the city centre.

“We continue to examine the relevant analysis and intend to make a decision in autumn.”

The suggestion Sheffield could miss out had sparked anger from Sheffield politicians, including Central MP Paul Blomfield.

He said: “The suggestion Sheffield may miss out on HS2 altogether is outrageous.

“The Transport Secretary needs to put these rumours to bed immediately and guarantee a Sheffield station.”

Mr McLoughlin included Sheffield in a speech on the high-speed rail-link when he addressed MPs in the House of Commons.

But Ms Greenwood highlighted suggestions phase two of HS2 is under review, with critics invited to the Treasury for discussions and business minister Anna Soubry saying Sheffield could ‘miss out’.

She said: “It would be totally unacceptable if the plans for high-speed rail in the North were downgraded by some unaccountable and secretive review.”