Friday, March 14, 2014

News: Sheffield's HS2 vision for Victoria


Analysis of the Sheffield economy has shown that a city centre High Speed Rail station would support 6,500 more jobs, worth up to £5 billion in additional GVA growth for the city region, than the site at Meadowhall currently promoted by HS2 Ltd.

HS2 is the Government's £50 billion high speed rail project that aims to provide extra capacity to handle increasing demand. By 2033, a South Yorkshire station will be on the proposed route from London to Leeds via Birmingham and the East Midlands.

Plans including the proposed location of a HS2 station at Meadowhall were announced last year with an expectation that it would support the creation of around 5,000 jobs in the station development regeneration areas around Meadowhall and the Lower Don Valley. Since then, Sheffield Council has stated its desire for the station to be located at Victoria, closer to Sheffield city centre.

In response to the government's consultation, Sheffield City Council said that it is strongly opposed to the proposed route and believes that the current preferred station location chosen by Government is a mistake.

The council believes that a "parkway" station at Meadowhall will deliver less economic impact and is an opportunity lost and that a city centre station can help enhance the national business case for HS2.

To back up the response, commissioned analysis from economic consultants Genecon demonstrates the net additional employment projections over 25 years for each location (allowing for displacement and multiplier effects), suggesting that Victoria could generate approximately 9,500 net additional jobs, whilst Meadowhall is projected to generate approximately 3,000 jobs as a result of HS2 station investment.

Overall, the assessment indicates a potential to generate between £2 - £5 billion net additional economic value over 25 years if the Victoria station option is selected. Separate analysis by consultants Volterra has suggested that over a 60 year period, the additional economic value is between £3.7 billion and £6.7 billion.

With a proposed station at Meadowhall, earlier analysis by KPMG shows that Rotherham could increase its annual economic output by between £131.7m and £272.12m due to the investment in HS2 and the re-design of the existing railway infrastructure. In percentage terms, the increase is estimated to be greater in Rotherham than Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and South Yorkshire as a whole.
Sheffield Council sees Victoria as having the potential to be the "St Pancras of the North" and a destination in its own right, with the ability to attract more investment and surrounding development than a station at Meadowhall.

CBRE estimate that commercial floorspace of approximately 560,000 sq m could be developed around Victoria as compared with 164,000 sq m around Meadowhall. The potential is for a net benefit of over £530m in terms of uplift in business rates.

Connectivity packages to link Victoria to the rest of the city region have also been developed. These include new stops on the Midland Mainline and Sheffield - Worksop line (providing a direct link to the Advanced Manufacturing Park and Waverley), the Lincoln-Worksop-Sheffield line would stop at a "New Victoria" station freeing capacity at Midland station, and new lines would connect Victoria to the Supertram network.

The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), on behalf of the South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (ITA), has already confirmed support for the proposed station location at Meadowhall but only if a significant package of improvements is included to ensure that it reaches its full economic potential.

Rotherham Council and Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber are also supporting Meadowhall. The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has declined to commit to backing a specific site for a South Yorkshire station and instead reiterated its stance that the location should be based on achieving the greatest economic benefit.

Issues have been raised regarding the proposed route impacting on regeneration projects such as Enterprise Zone sites and the Waverley development in Rotherham, where 1,000 proposed houses could be affected.

Sheffield Council said that it has commissioned technical work to develop a single route that runs through Sheffield city centre with the station at Victoria that would remove the substantial negative impact that the current proposed route has on key national manufacturing sites, Enterprise Zones and a major planned residential community at Waverley in the Lower Don Valley.

Work would need to be done on lowering the costs of this through route and locating the station at Victoria, which were previously estimated at an extra £1bn.

HS2 Ltd website

Images: Sheffield City Council


Anonymous,  March 14, 2014 at 9:30 AM  

Can anyone explain how 5000 jobs would be created due to the HS2 line and who would create them?

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