Friday, July 29, 2016

News: Healey calls for study into HS2 parkway station

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John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne, has called for a study into a potential station on the main HS2 line in South Yorkshire after new recommendations opted for a spur into Sheffield instead.

The new option proposes that HS2 services between London and Sheffield would take a spur off the new north-south high speed line and travel directly to the existing Sheffield Midland station using the existing railway line. Instead of travelling into a new station at Meadowhall, the HS2 line to Leeds would travel east of Rotherham following the M1 and M18 before heading through the Dearne Valley.

Construction on HS2, the high speed North to South rail link that aims to provide extra capacity to handle increasing demand, will begin during this Parliament and has been given a funding envelope of £55.7 billion in 2015 prices. It should reach Birmingham in 2026 and Manchester and Leeds by 2033.

The new recommendations would cut journey times on services heading to Leeds, York and Newcastle, and would also reduce the cost of the project by around £1 billion.

Healey has written to new transport secretary Chris Grayling and asked his department "to commission HS2 to undertake a study of the feasibility and benefits of a mainline South Yorkshire station, on the HS2 route rather than on a "loop" of standard rail track in central Sheffield."

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Sir David Higgins, the chairman of HS2, said in his report on the recommended changes that he believes "that HS2 should carry out a study to make recommendations to the Secretary of State on the potential for a parkway station on the M18/Eastern leg route which could serve the South Yorkshire area as a whole."

The local MP, whose constituency includes affected areas of Bramley and Ravenfield, has discussed the matter directly with Sir David but any study would need to be commissioned by the Government.

The new spur would see two trains per hour into Sheffield on existing lines whilst the main HS2 line continues to carry trains serving Leeds and further North. With a station at Meadowhall, indicative service patterns showed six trains per hour in each direction stopping in South Yorkshire. A total of ten trains per hour are expected to serve the eastern network in each direction.

The "classic compatible" trains could also stop at Chesterfield. Compared to the fastest existing service of 120 minutes, this would result in a fastest London to Sheffield service of around 83 minutes for those trains which stop at Chesterfield and of 79 minutes for those that do not.

The report also added that the route would create the possibility of these classic compatible services running through Sheffield Midland to other destinations, including Barnsley, Meadowhall and Rotherham.

However, a link North from Sheffield Midland and back onto the HS2 line has not been confirmed but may be included in proposals for HS3 / Northern Powerhouse Rail which aims to link Sheffield with Leeds and Manchester in under 30 minutes.

Both Healey and Kevin Barron MP have raised issues with Government and HS2 that areas of South Yorkshire face "taking all the disruption but receiving none of the benefits."

Wales, Thurcroft, Bramley and Hellaby were being considered as HS2 station locations back in 2012.

The option to run the route east of Rotherham with an intermediate South Yorkshire station along the route of the M18 was ruled out as the sites were considered too remote. HS2 Ltd looked at a spur into Sheffield using the existing train line but in 2013 opted for the route to Meadowhall instead.

Images: HS2

1 comments:

Richard Dickinson August 2, 2016 at 6:09 AM  

Nobody in South Yorkshire want this train. Spend the money on projects that will not waste taxpayers money. We don't want a train running through our villages causing this much devistation too so many peoples live. Don't the the people of South Yorkshire have a right too say no

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