Meeting set for Doncaster villages facing HS2 disruption

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Rail minister Paul Maynard will meet with residents this month from Doncaster villages which would be affected by the planned HS2 route through the borough.

Mr Maynard has confirmed a date of December 13 to meet with the Joint Rural Parishes group, which represents a number of rural parish councils in Doncaster who are opposed to the planned route of the HS2 line

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband is also expected to attend the meeting, along with a number of officials from the group.

The meeting will be in London, and Joint Rural Parishes chairman Rhonda Job confirmed she would be making the journey for the meeting.

It is also expected to be attended by Doncaster Coun Cynthia Ransome.

Mrs Job said: "It's vitally important that we all get to give our opinions about the impact, not just on the villages, but on Doncaster and the rest of the region.

"We dispute the claim of HS2 that there will be fewer homes demolished by taking the M18 route, as they are calling it, compared to the Meadowhall route which was proposed previously."

Campaigners claim the figures were based on out-dated maps.

She believes that the M18 route is worse from a regional and a national point of view and will have fewer economic benefits as well as having more environmental impact.

She said she first and foremost wanted the Government to realise that the planned route through the Dearne was not a logical route, and would not have the widest benefits for Yorkshire.

But she added it was also important to look at mitigation if the plans did not change to make sure it had the least possible impact on the communities.

Mrs Job said as far as she was aware no compensation had been offered to the rural villages which would be affected by the route. She believes the possibility of a parkway station in the Dearne would be part of the discussions as part of any mitigation and any economic case.

She is also calling on residents to take part in planned further consulation on the environmental impact of the route.

The Free Press is running its HS2 Fair Deal campaign to call for the Government to ensure any of our communities are fairly compensated for the effects of having HS2 running through or past them.

HS has said it stands by the methodology used to get its figures for demolitions and that the M18 route remains the best way to serve the region, meeting customer demand, as well as being both less technically challenging and more cost effective.