Doncaster campaigners say they are preparing to go to ‘war’ over the controversial new HS2 route – as the first council in the region passed an anti-HS2 motion.
Rotherham Council voted to oppose the proposed new high- speed route, which would cut through a number of Doncaster villages and lead to the demolition of a Mexborough housing estate, and to call on the Government to scrap the project entirely.
And now Doncaster councillors and campaigners are getting ready to make their opposition to the project known, when the council meets to discuss the subject next week.
A motion noting the local authority’s opposition to the route has been put forward by Mayor Ros Jones and is set to go before the borough’s councillors on Thursday, September 15. The motion has been seconded by Mexborough First councillor Andy Pickering, who says the fact the motion comes from the Mayor sends a ‘big message’.
He said: “It’s a big statement for the Mayor to do this, and we’re in complete support.
“Residents in Mexborough have been devastated by this news, they don’t want it and they know it’s not going to benefit them.
“HS2 were asked to do an impact assessment in 2013, when they estimated that 616 homes would have to be bulldozed across the whole length of the line.
“And now with this new route, we want to know why Mexborough is having to bear the majority of the burden with at least 200 to 300 houses being bulldozed here.
“It is a war and it will really begin when the secretary of state approves the route and the consultation begins.
“But the motion that’s being put forward by Mayor Jones is the first step against fighting it, and we are willing to support Mexborough residents in fighting this until the end. “
Wednesday’s anti-HS2 motion comes as a group of 14 villages situated in and around Doncaster joined forces in the battle against the high speed line.
They are set to submit a letter to Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband over the issue.
Rhonda Job, chairman of the Joint Rural Parishes in the west of Doncaster, said: “The proposal does not benefit Doncaster or the other areas affected.
“Our communities are being asked to bear the negative economic, social, financial and environmental impact of this proposal – all the pain with no gain.”
The high speed route was initially due to go through Meadowhall, but a change means the route is now set to go through estates in Rotherham, Mexborough and the Dearne Valley.