Wednesday, January 25, 2017

News: Rotherham sites considered for potential HS2 parkway station

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Wales, Bramley and Hooton Roberts are on a shortlist for a potential parkway station on the main HS2 line between London and Leeds.

The Government is carrying out a study into a potential station on the main HS2 line in South Yorkshire after it opted to back proposals to re-align the route through the region.

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.

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 but it did not commit to creating a connection back onto the HS2 mainline north of Sheffield Midland, or to a parkway station on the mainline. This left local MPs stating that areas would "take all the disruption but receive none of the benefits."

The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling asked HS2 to study possible sites for a parkway station in October and a report is due back early this year.

Alongside Wales, Bramley (pictured) and Hooton Roberts in Rotherham, also on the shortlist is Mexborough, Hickleton and Clayton in Doncaster plus sites at Hemsworth and Fitzwilliam before the proposed new HS2 depot at Crofton in West Yorkshire.

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Paul Griffiths, development director at HS2 Ltd, confirmed the locations and told the BBC: "Whenever we develop part of the route we look at a wide range of options and these are the places we have focused our attention because there are already roads there and there is already access. But we are at a very early stage of the development here and people shouldn't get too hooked up on these because it is early stage.

"We were asked to look at a parkway station by the secretary of state as a way of spreading the benefit of HS2 by providing additional access onto the railway for a wider area."

At the end of 2016, Sir David Higgins, non-executive chair of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, discussed the reasons for the changes in South Yorkshire. He also said: "We are looking at a parkway on this new line which would be between Wakefield, Doncaster and Rotherham. That will open up to a lot of people who have no services whatsoever at the moment.

"It is extremely close to the A1/M1, which as time goes on is becoming more and more of a critical corridor for access. Being able to have a parkway there that would be able to take traffic off that motorway I think in time will be seen as very attractive."

With no budget set for a Northern loop or a parkway station in the region, the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership is seeking "a clear and unequivocal commitment to constructing the loop north of Sheffield to the main HS2 line" and assurances that "parkway station intentions are genuine."

When the initial route passing through Meadowhall was announced in 2013 it was revealed that HS2 had discounted Thurcroft, Bramley, Hellaby and Wath upon Dearne as locations for a potential station when experts first examined the possibility of the high speed route running to the east of Rotherham.

HS2 Ltd has arranged a number of events for residents to find out more about the high speed rail project and how it will affect the Rotherham area. The consultation on the proposed changes to the route closes on March 9.

HS2 Ltd website

Images: UC Holdings


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