HS2: Sheffield to London Midland Mainline to be electrified - but silence on tram network expansion
Electrification of Midland Mainline from Sheffield to London to start at Christmas but Minister silent on calls to expand tram to city’s hospitals.
The Midland Mainline connecting Sheffield to London will be electrified and work will start this Christmas, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.
But in response to Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts, Mr Shapps did not comment on calls to expand the Supertram network to both the Northern General and Hallamshire hospitals
The address by Mr Shapps in the House of Commons related to the publication of the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) which details investment in railways across the north and Midlands.
He confirmed that the eastern leg of HS2 up towards Sheffield and Leeds would be scrapped. Instead, Mr Shapps offered faster services between the two cities and the electrification of the line to London – which was called a ‘consolation’ by Mr Betts.
The published report seen by MPs reveals that journey times from Sheffield to London will take 1 hour and 27 minutes once fully implemented.
Mr Betts also asked the minister to meet with Sheffield MPs to discuss transport issues around the city but he did not directly respond.
Mr Betts said: “There’s been a great deal of commitment to HS2 in Sheffield across the political parties and the business communities so today, there will be a lot of anger and people will feel that Sheffield has once again been left behind.
“I think as a consolation we’re going to get the electrification of the Midland Mainline. Is that the third time it’s been promised? It’s already been scrapped twice. So are we going to be third time lucky? What’s the guarantee?
“Is there going to be investment in our tram network? Including badly needed links to our hospitals? Lots of questions with the Secretary State so therefore would he agree to meet with Sheffield MPs, the city council and the mayor to discuss the details of the proposals and what it actually means for our city?”
“The good news for him and his constituents is these are exactly the same journey times as we promised to him through HS2 now to Sheffield through today’s plan.
“But the good news is rather than having to wait till 2043, as I’ve said several times, particularly for the Midland Mainline upgrades, we’ll be starting that work this Christmas.”