Thursday, January 25, 2024

News: Safeguarding lifted on some axed HS2 routes, but Rotherham waits


Land in Rotherham outlined for high speed rail is still being safeguarded despite being "in the wrong place for any future routes."

The Government has announced that safeguarding of land and property across the majority of Phase 2a of HS2 (West Midlands to Crewe) has been removed, but safeguarding for Phase 2b (Crewe to Manchester and West Midlands to Leeds) will not be amended until summer 2024. This will allow for safeguarding that is needed for Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Local leaders in Rotherham say that land and property owners have had a "long shadow" of HS2 over them since the route was changed in 2016. The now scrapped M18 route east of Rotherham affected Wales, Aston, Ulley, Brampton-en-le–Morthen, Thurcroft, Bramley, Ravenfield and Hooton Roberts.

An update from HS2 Ltd said: "The Government has announced Phase 2b safeguarding will be amended by summer 2024, to allow for any safeguarding required for Northern Powerhouse Rail. It is expected that some areas in Phase 2b will continue to be safeguarded for other rail schemes, and safeguarding will be removed in the other areas."

The government announced in November 2021 that the HS2 Phase 2b Eastern leg would terminate at East Midlands Parkway and no longer reach Leeds through the communities in the east of Rotherham. A study into how best to take HS2 services to Leeds was announced but never really got underway before the Government launched its "Network North" document in October 2023.

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council said at the end of last year: “Communities like Bramley, Wales Bar and Aston are simply in the wrong place for any future routes between Sheffield and Leeds and it cannot be right that residents in those places are left in limbo.”

In September, Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley raised the issue in the House of Commons, saying: "I know that the Government still want high-speed trains through the area, but the only financially viable way of HS2 getting to Leeds is by using existing track. Why is it taking so long to release the land when everyone knows and accepts that we will not be building a new track through Rother Valley to Leeds? Will the Minister release the safeguarding and release people’s homes?"

Writing to the Transport Secretary last week, Wentworth & Dearne MP, John Healey raised the issue of the threat of compulsory HS2 purchase, blight on property prices and a freeze on any other developments, adding that there was no reason to not lift safeguarding land restrictions for HS2 on large areas of land in Rotherham.

Healey said: "It was last summer when we were told by your Rail Minister that the Government's study of IRP (Integrated Rail Plan) links to Leeds meant that safeguarding restrictions would not be lifted because you were still looking to complete the HS2 Eastern Leg as had been "previously scoped" and you were looking to upgrade lines between Sheffield and Leeds.

"With HS2 now being scrapped beyond Birmingham the first part of the argument no longer holds firm and the second line of reasoning can be clearly dismissed by looking at a map to see that the community of Bramley, in my constituency, and those further afield in Rotherham, like Aston and Wales Bar, are nowhere near a new Sheffield-Leeds rail route.

"I would appreciate it if you could please provide me with the latest reasoning as to why the decision to lift blight in Rotherham has not been made.

"People deserve to live their lives without the worry of HS2 hanging over them and I would urge you again to lift the HS2 blight on our area and let people live their lives without this fear."

HS2 website

Images: HS2 Ltd


Anonymous,  January 25, 2024 at 12:09 PM  

This is an absolute joke now!

If Northern Powerhouse Rail happens it won't be for years if not decades. How long are we expected to live under this stress and not knowing what the future holds in our own homes and communities, it's been 8 years already.

People can't be treat this way!

Anonymous,  January 26, 2024 at 4:46 PM  

Well they have for the last 8 years and you've sucked it up don't expect anything different.

Anonymous,  January 26, 2024 at 10:30 PM  

I can only vouch for the people of Bramley, they've far from sucked it up. Pathetic comment from someone who clearly isn't affected. Pfft!

Anonymous,  January 28, 2024 at 6:13 AM  

If you've not sucked it up how come you're complaining about being treat badly for 8 years?

Anonymous,  January 28, 2024 at 10:37 AM  

They are obviously not Einstein.

Anonymous,  January 28, 2024 at 11:36 AM  

Uniformed drivel

Anonymous,  January 28, 2024 at 4:02 PM  

8 years and you've achieved nothing but stress

Jez January 28, 2024 at 4:22 PM  

Should this be uninformed drivel or uniformed driver?

Anonymous,  January 28, 2024 at 7:11 PM  

Your post states 8 years of stress and being mistreated....the only uninformed drivel seems to be coming from you.

Anonymous,  January 29, 2024 at 8:58 AM  

What were they meant to do? You seem to know a lot about it so maybe you can explain what you’d have done in that situation?

Anonymous,  January 29, 2024 at 1:37 PM  

Yeah of course it is. Schadenfreude is alive and well on this forum!

jamiewalton January 29, 2024 at 4:59 PM  

I don't get why people get off on other people's miss fortune. That's pretty low.

Anonymous,  January 29, 2024 at 5:38 PM  

Good that the spellings right wouldn't want to think you're uniformed.

Anonymous,  January 31, 2024 at 10:43 AM  

If this was being built on repurporsed green/brown belt land people would be going insane. But literally on people back garden fence and noone cares. Got to love this blog!

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