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29.10.14

Decision on South Yorkshire HS2 station still to be made

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has refused to rule out South Yorkshire’s HS2 station being built in Sheffield city centre, despite Sir David Higgins’ backing the Meadowhall option in his recent report.

McLoughlin said he is waiting for “further evidence” before making a final decision.

“Sir David remains convinced on current evidence that Sheffield Meadowhall is the right location for the South Yorkshire hub. I am waiting for further evidence from Sheffield before a final decision on this,” he said.

In his report the chair of HS2 Ltd said there is “insufficient evidence” to support changing the preferred option of Meadowhall to the former Victoria station, in the city centre, which opponents say would be more expensive and increase journey times around South Yorkshire.

The news that the location of stations is not set in stone after Sir David’s recommendations and that the transport secretary is willing to hear further evidence will also please Stoke’s campaigners, who are still fighting to have the North West hub located in their city instead of at Crewe.

As RTM has previously reported Sir David recommended Crewe as the location because it is the “best way to serve not just the local region, but also provide services into the rest of the north west, north Wales and Merseyside”.

Stoke city council leader, Cllr Mohammed Pervez, still hopes the local authority can influence the government to choose Stoke instead.

“The government has still to make a decision but if they go with Sir David’s recommendations then we will look at every route open to us. There is no mechanism in place to support those areas which lose out as a result,” he said.

“Stoke-on-Trent is undergoing a major economic renaissance and has enormous future growth potential. HS2 would supercharge that growth. We will continue talk through the issues and the opportunities with government and other organisations to ensure that this wonderful city and its people are not penalised. One thing is sure, they won’t be able to ignore Stoke-on-Trent.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Transtraxman   04/11/2014 at 19:06

Firstly, I question why you use a photo of a Spanish AVE to illustrate an article about the English HS2? The most impoprtant point, though, is why are the powers that be, still promoting out of town Parkways as the main rail station for a city or conurbation? You MUST take passengers where they want to go, which means city centres where the transport connections are. You MUST NOT increase dependence on the car when 50% of the population does not want to use a car or cannot. The HS trains are supposed to be compatible with the so-called classic lines and if that means you lose three minutes by taking the passengers into the city centre rather than leaving them stuck out in the boondocks, all well and good. It might mean that the planners are thinking about their customers for a change.

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