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Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

HS2 Ltd’s outgoing chairman, Sir David Higgins, has urged the government to make a decision on proposals to create a parkway station on the high-speed line to serve the South Yorkshire areas as a whole.

In a major report released today, Higgins reiterated his support for Chris Grayling’s decision to run HS2 services into Sheffield Midland rather than to Meadowhall or the mothballed Sheffield Victoria station, arguing this will improve connectivity in the city centre without affecting services to northern areas of greater demand.

But he claimed that a decision is still needed on his suggestion, first made two years ago, to consider the potential for a parkway station on the line to serve locations such as Barnsley and Rotherham.

Work has since been undertaken in this area, but Grayling – who is ultimately responsible for the decision – has yet to confirm whether it will be green-lit.

As we move towards submission of the hybrid bill for Phase 2b into Parliament, a decision will be needed on whether to include provisions for a potential parkway station in the scheme design,” wrote Higgins.

“Including passive provision for a parkway would allow the infrastructure to be future-proofed to meet the future needs of communities and businesses in South Yorkshire.”

In January last year, HS2 revealed a shortlist of eight sites for a potential parkway station to serve the region, all situated across rural locations in Doncaster, Rotherham and Wakefield. A spokesperson confirmed that the company had been commissioned to identify options in order to “further spread the considerable benefits” the high-speed scheme will bring.

This came a few months before Grayling confirmed the government’s preferred Phase 2 route in July 2017, which confirmed the route would serve Sheffield’s city centre but did not make a decision on a parkway site.

Investment in the north of England’s railways will be discussed extensively at this year’s TransCityRail North on 4 October. Don’t miss your chance to attend: visit the website here.

Top image: Rui Vieira via PA Wire


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