HS2 Sheffield: Labour Council Leader Terry Fox criticises Green Party for failing to support high speed train bid

Government promises to improve rail services are ‘outlandish spin’ says the Leader of Sheffield Council.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 11:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 12:31 pm

Coun Terry Fox said it was ‘outrageous’ that the Government axed the eastern leg of HS2 and reneged on promises to improve connectivity and capacity for South Yorkshire rail.

And the Labour Leader took a swipe at the Green Party – which is running the council alongside Labour in a coalition – saying they needed to get on board and be united.

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The Leader of Sheffield Council Terry Fox said it was "outrageous" that the Government had axed the eastern leg of HS2

He said: “This Government says Sheffield will see benefits sooner under its integrated rail plan than they would have done if HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail had been given the go ahead but this is outlandish spin which does not hold up to scrutiny.

“The original rationale for HS2 was to improve not just journey times but also rail capacity, segregating long distance travellers and regional passengers on to separate lines, allowing the fast trains to move more.

“The Government is being disingenuous saying Sheffield is going to get faster trains and increased capacity.

“What they mean is running longer trains on the long distance services at the expense of more local capacity, negating the whole point of HS2 in the first place, and actually making local capacity issues worse.”

HS2 divides Sheffield Council coalition

Coun Fox said for a decade the council had consistently backed bringing HS2 to Sheffield.

But he added: “Labour welcomed all of the obvious benefits this brings for economic prosperity and an improved experience for rail passengers, as well as the huge advantages for cleaner air, but Sheffield Green councillors have regularly called for HS2 to be scrapped, and failed to back the original proposals.

“Labour councillors entered into the co-operative agreement to put Sheffield first and provide stability to the council, but that this does not mean we will agree on everything, as demonstrated by our polar opposite positions on HS2.

“It’s incumbent on all Sheffield councillors to put party politics aside and demand that the Government not only reinstates HS2 coming to Sheffield but they bring about significantly improved investment in public transport.”

Coun Fox will raise the issue at a meeting of full council on Wednesday, December 1.