Doncaster campaigner says delays to HS2 'can only be positive' after reports suggest line will reach North West before South Yorkshire

Doncaster campaigners say any delay on the eastern leg of HS2 through South Yorkshire ‘can only be positive’ after concerns were raised that HS2 could reach the North West before it comes to Yorkshire.

Friday, 28th February 2020, 12:55 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd March 2020, 11:48 am

Doncaster councillor Andy Pickering, who represents Mexborough, made the comments after reports said ministers are looking at whether a bill would be put forward which could see the western HS2 leg come to Manchester first before the line through South Yorkshire and Leeds.

Mexborough is the most affected area in the country in terms of residential demolitions. Around 200 homes - mainly on the Shimmer estate - are set to be bulldozed to make way for the line.

Critics like Coun Pickering said the HS2 line through South Yorkshire brings ‘nothing but misery’ and added that east/west connectivity in the north should be prioritised over a project like HS2.

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Coun Pickering says HS2 will cause 'nothing but misery' for people living in Mexborough

He said: “Any delay can only be a positive on the no news is good news front.

“The uncertainty aspect is disappointing but on the other side of the coin, the destruction it’s going to bring is at least put off and common sense might prevail on this project.

“This route brings nothing but misery to South Yorkshire and the Doncaster borough in particular with Mexborough and other areas.

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones is a supporter of HS2 in principle but has repeatedly called for the line to return to its original destination of Meadowhall which would have spared Mexborough.

The route was changed to include a station at Sheffield Midland after intense lobbying from the city council.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come out in favour of the HS2 project but the timescale of the line reaching northern England has been put back five years to 2040.

Coun Pickering added: “Everyday they keep thinking about it they might finally realise the huge problems it has on Mexborough with the 200 plus demolitions.

“There’s been no news that gives us some really positives but every delay means that there might be having another look at it coming through Mexborough.

“We’ve said previously in this part of the world the problem isn’t north/south connectivity it’s the problems going east to west.”