HS2 Sheffield: South Yorkshire MP says Eastern leg being scrapped “massive let down for the north”

A South Yorkshire MP has warned that the potential scrapping of the Eastern leg of HS2 is a “massive let-down for the North”, adding that Ministers “should apologise” to residents affected by the project.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 12:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 1:08 pm

PM Boris Johnson is set to unveil a long-delayed rail plan for the Midlands and north of England today, and is expected to confirm that the government’s controversial HS2 rail link to Leeds is to be scrapped.

The link was proposed to provide a faster rail route between Birmingham and Leeds, running through South Yorkshire.

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John Healey added that Ministers "should apologise" to residents affected by the project.

John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne, said he expected “little of the £10 billion saved” to be spent in Rotherham and Barnsley, where new train links and shorter journeys are “badly needed”.

“HS2 could have been a big boost for South Yorkshire but Ministers killed the case when they changed the route in 2017. This meant all pain and no gain, with the high-speed line running through South Yorkshire without stopping,” said Mr Healey.

“This breaks a big Boris Johnson pledge to level up rail funding in the North, when the Government are spending three times more per person in London than Yorkshire, and much of the money saved now will go to the Treasury not transport in the North.

“The ballooning costs of HS2 made its end inevitable, as Ministers lost control of the project.

“They’ve needlessly blighted the lives and homes of thousands of people who now deserve an apology from Ministers.”