Rotherham Council objects to proposed high speed train route through South Yorkshire

Rotherham Council chiefs have told the government of their opposition to the proposed high speed train route through South Yorkshire.

Friday, 10th March 2017, 6:56 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:59 am
Rotherham Council has submitted its views on the proposed HS2 route

The council submitted its views as part of the government’s consultation on a revised HS2 route which would take passengers to Sheffield city centre rather than Meadowhall.

It was initially planned for trains to stop at Meadowhall, then a revised route was published, which would see trains stopping in Sheffield city centre instead if the plan got the go-ahead.

The route would follow the M18 and cut across parts of Mexborough and Rotherham, with a spur line to Sheffield.

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Council Leader Chris Read, said: “The principle of major transport improvements connecting South Yorkshire to other major centres of population is an important one with potentially valuable economic benefits, and clearly something that we support.

“We have said throughout that if the government is to build this major piece of national infrastructure they should site the station at Meadowhall, in terms of the benefits that this would bring to Rotherham and the wider city region, and have made this view clear to the government and HS2 Ltd.

“However, the M18/ spur proposal that HS2 now favours would mean a second class service for Rotherham. For the city region as a whole it would mean fewer, slower and smaller trains, resulting in 71 per cent fewer seats and journey times 25 per cent slower than the Meadowhall station option. And because it means a slower, smaller service, the spur proposal also means 30 per cent fewer jobs and lower economic benefits.

“Through the work we have commissioned alongside our colleagues in Doncaster, we also know that the spur proposal will be no cheaper than the Meadowhall option, and will actually be much more expensive to run - £1.7 billion over the lifetime of the scheme.

"For residents whose homes are threatened by the spur proposal, our analysis shows the most recent HS2 proposals to be doubly insulting.

“We have made our views known as part of this consultation and our representation to Government seeks to get the best deal for Rotherham, and for the region. It is essential that the government re-thinks this proposal before it makes a mistake of historic proportions.”