Sheffield could ‘miss out’ on HS2 after reports the scheme is ‘under review’ to save money, a shadow minister has said.
Shadow transport secretary Lilian Greenwood said there have been suggestions the Government may cut Sheffield out of its plans in what she described as a ‘secretive downgrading’.
She spoke after Transport Secretary and Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin, said passengers would soon be able to access a high-speed rail link to Sheffield.
Yesterday Mr McLoughlin included Sheffield in his speech when discussing the rail link.
The Derbyshire MP said: “I am glad that I’ll no longer only be able to get a high-speed train from London to Paris or Brussels, but will be able to soon get them to Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds or Sheffield.”
Ms Greenwood highlighted reports phase two of HS2 is under review, with critics invited to the Treasury for discussions and business minister Anna Soubry saying Sheffield could ‘miss out’.
Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East, said ministers need to spell out exactly what the plans are for the city.
He said: “We still want firmer assurances from Government that the station for HS2 is going to be in Sheffield and that HS3 is going to link Sheffield as well as Leeds across the Pennines, as well as a commitment to the review of the Pennine Tunnel which many of us are really interested in.”
Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield said: “The suggestion Sheffield may miss out on HS2 altogether is outrageous. The Transport Secretary needs to put these rumours to bed immediately and guarantee a Sheffield station.”
Shadow housing minister and Wentworth & Dearne MP John Healey, expressed concerns that the high-speed rail plans might only benefit passengers travelling between London and Birmingham with places such as South Yorkshire potentially being ‘left out’.
“I have to say the Secretary of State in his speech did nothing to reassure the House about the plans or promises of HS2 being delivered,” he said.
“Ms Greenwood added: “It would be totally unacceptable if the plans for high-speed rail in the North were downgraded by some unaccountable and secretive review.”