Tuesday, November 23, 2021

News: Reaction from Rotherham to HS2 changes


The government announcement that the HS2 Phase 2b Eastern leg will no longer reach Leeds through the communities in the east of Rotherham has been called “victory for common sense at last” by the leader of Rotherham Council.

A change in route in 2016 from having a HS2 station in Sheffield at Meadowhall, included a spur to Sheffield whilst the fast route to Leeds went through the East of Rotherham, affecting Wales, Aston, Ulley, Brampton-en-le–Morthen, Thurcroft, Bramley, Ravenfield and Hooton Roberts.

Looking again at the plans, the Government has outlined in its Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands that, instead of a new HS2 line in the region, the completion of the electrification of the Midland Main Line (due in the early 2030s) would allow high speed journeys from London to Chesterfield and Sheffield in the same times to those originally proposed by HS2.

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council, said: "“There is strong opposition to HS2 from communities across Rotherham because of the damage it threatened to do to local communities while offering next-to-no benefit for our residents or economy. I always said this was a fight we could win, and so it has turned out to be. It is a victory for common sense at last and local campaign groups should take huge credit for their steadfast opposition – it is them I am most happy for today, and the government must give them cast iron guarantees that their nightmare is over.

“The reality is that this was a mess of this government’s own making, which has hung over our communities for far too long already. The government have finally landed on a solution which hinges on electrifying the Midland Mainline – a scheme they shelved years ago despite lobbying from South Yorkshire. Now they must keep their wider ambition for rail in the North, not just slash and burn. That means supporting us to bring Rotherham rail services back onto the mainline for the first time in a generation, ensuring no local journeys between Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster and Leeds are lost, and creating enough capacity on the network north of Sheffield to ensure Midland station isn’t the end of the line.”

The plan scaled back ambitions for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and added that a study of route options to take HS2 to Leeds will be led by Network Rail but no timescales are given. Absent from the plan is a new mainline station for Rotherham, hoped to be part of the NPR network. The government has recently indicated a commitment of £20m through the Towns Fund and City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS) programme to support the development of a new mainline Rotherham station at Parkgate.

Andrew Denniff, CEO Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, said: "We need positive and real, committed investment in our rail infrastructure. This includes upgrading to mainline status of our stations in both Barnsley and Rotherham, enhanced and expanded Tram/Train networks across the region to serve the Dearne Valley, the region’s airport at Doncaster, linking into a viable passenger service to Stocksbridge and funding for the major improvements needed to Trans-Pennine connectivity also need to be addressed.

”Instead, we have a government treating the north with total disdain, broken promises being revisited and presented as generous gifts we should be grateful for, totally undermining investor confidence in our towns and regions.”

Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley, added: "The money saved from not building the HS2 2b arm can now be channelled into exciting alternatives which will improve connectivity in Rother Valley and across the North.

"Rother Valley does not need a high-speed rail line smashing through our countryside that we cannot access. We need better intra- and inter-regional links so that our young people in Maltby, Dinnington and Swallownest can access the same education, high-skilled jobs and training opportunities that those who live in Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester already have easy access to."

Images: DfT


Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP