HS2 Sheffield: ‘South Yorkshire will not forget rail betrayal’ – Mayor Dan Jarvis tells Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Mayor Dan Jarvis has said South Yorkshire will ‘not forget the betrayal’ over scaled back plans for railway improvements in the region.
In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mayor Jarvis criticised plans to axe HS2 into Sheffield and said there was ‘significant detail missing’ from the Integrated Rail Plan over planned schemes affecting the area.
The mayor said there was a lack of clarity on proposals to improve capacity on the East Coast Main Line and the potential benefits for Doncaster and on the status of two key rail new stations in the Dearne Valley at Goldthorpe and in Rotherham.
He also referenced plans to redevelop Sheffield Midland Station, which already faces ‘significant capacity constraints, to accommodate high speed trains’.
The mayor also called for clarity on the uncertainty for residents in Mexborough and Bramley who still face the prospect of disruption due to land in their communities ‘kept safeguarded for a future HS2 route’.
Mayor Jarvis said: “The Prime Minister’s cut-price rail plan has badly let us down. South Yorkshire and the North will not forget this betrayal.
“Not only has he abandoned much-needed and desperately overdue improvements to services for passengers, he’s squandered an opportunity to unlock thousands of jobs, massive new investment and the regeneration of our towns and stations across our region.
“After so many re-commitments and re-announcements, after so many promises of transformation, for him to do this and to call it levelling up is simply treating people with contempt.
“This was supposed to be the moment where the government began to put right years of neglect and underinvestment in the North, where our needs were finally put first for a change. Instead they are locking in a second-class and second-rate solution for a generation.
“It’s the same old story – when it comes to the crunch, once again the government is leaving us to make do with crumbs off the table. Rather than levelling up South Yorkshire, this Prime Minister is holding our region back.”
The Department for Transport was contacted for comment:
A DfT spokesman said: “The Integrated Rail Plan is a monumental £96bn investment that will deliver quicker journeys and improved services to more communities across South Yorkshire.“For instance, passengers in Sheffield will see a doubling of capacity and will benefit from the electrification of the Midland Mainline in the next ten years, much sooner than under previous plans, while those in Doncaster will now see benefits where previously they had none.
“The Government has now committed to explore the most effective way to run HS2 trains to Leeds, and it’s important we safeguard properties until final decisions are taken. A failure to do so would cost the taxpayer more and cause greater uncertainty for residents.”