Thursday, October 5, 2023

News: Government promises two new stations in Rotherham on day it axes HS2 in the north


The HS2 line will no longer travel through the Rotherham borough after Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, confirmed that the once-in-a-generation infrastructure project will not reach the north.

The announcement, roundly criticised as a betrayal by northern leaders, came with a promise to redirect HS2 funding to "revolutionise transport across the North and Midlands" with Yorkshire and the Humber set to benefit from £19.8 billion transport investment.

With spiralling costs, the government announced in November 2021 that the HS2 Phase 2b Eastern leg will terminate at East Midlands Parkway and no longer reach Leeds through the communities in the east of Rotherham. Yesterday, it was confirmed that the new line between Birmingham and Manchester has been scrapped.

It follows on from the Government's £96 billion Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands which scaled back ambitions for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), with Rotherham and Sheffield both missed off plans.

There was opposition to the HS2 scheme from within Rotherham since a 2b route realignment was recommended in 2016. The local authority set out that it doesn't want to see the project reach Yorkshire when it passed a motion in 2018 to call on the Government to abandon the Leeds leg of the project. Rotherham Council's previous stance was a preference for the South Yorkshire HS2 station to be at Meadowhall on a through route to Leeds.

With the M18 route east of Rotherham scrapped, it means that safeguarding is set to be lifted in areas of Wales, Aston, Ulley, Brampton-en-le–Morthen, Thurcroft, Bramley, Ravenfield and Hooton Roberts.

The Network North document stated that: "Phase 2a safeguarding will be formally lifted in weeks and Phase 2b safeguarding will be amended by summer next year, to allow for any safeguarding needed for Northern Powerhouse Rail."

In a change of track, Rotherham is now set to benefit from £36 billion in savings from HS2 that will be reinvested in hundreds of transport projects across the country, delivering more buses, reopening railway stations and ensuring major funding for new and improved roads.

The government's new "Network North" plan includes a new mainline station for Rotherham that will be added to the route between Sheffield and Leeds and could give the town its first direct service to London since the 1980s. The document said that electrifying and upgrading the Sheffield-Leeds route would give passengers a choice of three to four fast trains an hour, instead of one, with journey times of 40 minutes and boosting capacity by 300%.

The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and Rotherham Council have been developing a scheme for a new mainline station, integrated into the tram-train network in the Parkgate area. It would cost some £107.6m and was envisaged to see new direct services into York and Birmingham, with faster services to Leeds, Sheffield, and Doncaster than currently offered. With no new HS2 line, destinations may have to be re-examined.

Also in the plans for Network North is a new station at Waverley, also in Rotherham.

Work has been underway for a number of years through the Restoring Your Railway "Ideas Fund" for a new railway station on the Sheffield to Lincoln line at Waverley serving the new community and the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

The plan also adds that all six Northern city regions will receive more than double their initial City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS) funding to improve connectivity in their areas, stating that there would be £1.4 billion for South Yorkshire, including £500m from savings from HS2 and the CRSTS.

The £2 bus fare cap is set to be extended until the end of 2024 and £700m has been pledged to fund a new wave of Bus Service Improvement Plans in the North.

Oliver Coppard, mayor of South Yorkshire called the scrapping of HS2 a "broken promise" adding that: "In South Yorkshire, the Prime Minister’s big announcement - ‘network north’ - means nothing more than reheated projects they’ve had 13 years to deliver, and more promises for the future they won’t deliver. And we’re supposed to be grateful?"

Images: HS2


Anonymous,  October 5, 2023 at 1:13 PM  

Oliver ,your not speaking for anyone I know,were glad HS2 is canned,and labour as been dithering about whether to cancel it any how,still we should get used to dithering,with possiblity of dithering Starma!

Anonymous,  October 5, 2023 at 2:36 PM  

I've yet to hear many members of the public say that HS2 was a good idea.

Anonymous,  October 5, 2023 at 6:03 PM  

Well that was a bit of a faff. Can't wait for all that reassigned money to never get spent 'up North'.

Believe in Rotherham. October 5, 2023 at 6:42 PM  

These stations in Rotherham are not new,like the Tory party want you to believe.
They are already in process.
The Rotherham mainline station is being pushed by the council not national government.

Anonymous,  October 5, 2023 at 10:39 PM  

Bunch of liars

Anonymous,  October 6, 2023 at 12:26 PM  

Is that right Kier?😂

jamiewalton October 6, 2023 at 1:27 PM  

HS2 was the best thing that's ever happened to me. £30,000 compo for simply living on a street where it was never, ever, going to be built!

Anonymous,  October 6, 2023 at 1:51 PM  

I fink the new stations should go up yer bum!

Anonymous,  October 6, 2023 at 3:53 PM  

Fair play to anyone who benefitted out of the HS2 farse and the grief they put up with. I'm guessing the last comment is someone who's just a little jelious

Anonymous,  October 6, 2023 at 4:10 PM  

A good point well made. This sets a new high bar for Rothbiz comments.

Anonymous,  October 6, 2023 at 5:19 PM  

I wasn’t jealous, good luck to them I say

Anonymous,  October 6, 2023 at 5:35 PM  

Farsically jelicious

Anonymous,  October 7, 2023 at 6:34 AM  

Why did you add a smiley face? If you have to explain that what you are saying is supposed to be funny then it's not.

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