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Sheffield to make the case for HS2 city hub despite DfT preference

The Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) will make the case for an HS2 station on the site of the old Victoria station near the city centre, rather than at the out-of-town Meadowhall shopping centre, at a seminar on 18 February.

Arguing that the station location will have enormous implications on the future of the region’s economy, the organisation concluded that the Victoria station site would cause less disruption to businesses and housing because the route follows existing train lines.

The two red pins show the two station location options

It also argued that it is “by far the best strategic fit” considering the objectives of the Northern Powerhouse and HS3, building on Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) commitment to city-to-city connectivity.

The Chamber’s executive director, Richard Wright, said the seminar is designed to “lay out the facts as clearly as possible” to inform local businesses and others affected to lobby the government.

“We would urge you to come and hear for yourself. We want the strength and confidence that your backing will give us as we continue to lobby government for the right decision for the city and Sheffield City Region,” he said.

“There are a number of very important decisions being made this year and first among these is the location of the HS2 station.”

The event, held at the Memorial Hall at Sheffield City Hall from 8am, will consist of guest speakers, a debate and a Q&A session.

But despite the organisation’s efforts, the Meadowhall location remains the government’s preferred location for the HS2 hub, according to the latest DfT documents. Calculations on the reductions in journey times across the HS2 network also take the Meadowhall site into consideration.

sheffield hs2 2

“Locating the South Yorkshire Hub at Sheffield Meadowhall was the government’s preferred option in the phase 2 route consultation. The evidence continues to suggest this is likely to be the best way of serving the wider South Yorkshire region,” the government document said. “However some respondents gave a preference for locating the station in Sheffield city centre. One such site would be at Sheffield Victoria, a currently disused railway station on the north side of the inner ring road.

“We recognise the arguments put forward for a city centre station in Sheffield and we continue to explore them. We are committed to ensuring that HS2 delivers the largest possible benefits and continue to work with local partners to ensure that Sheffield city centre will benefit from HS2.”

The department will work alongside TfN and the National Infrastructure Commission on the possible interfaces with Northern Powerhouse Rail as it examines the relevant analyses for all station options.

It intends to make a decision on the HS2 South Yorkshire Hub in the autumn.


James Craig   15/01/2016 at 12:50

Whilst I generally agree with City Centre station locations, there are major drawbacks for the proposal to use Victoria - the main one being a lack of connectivity with the remaining rail network. At least Meadowhall will provide great interconnectivity not just for Sheffield but for Doncaster, Rotherham and other services, Victoria might just cater for HS2 and HS3 services and be a high speed island. Look at Curzon Street - one of the main drawbacks of that plan is a lack of full integration with New Street. On balance I think Meadowhall is the best option of the two.

Tim Collins   15/01/2016 at 12:55

Isn't far better to think about the best station location for the local region and not just Sheffield. This proposal against the original appears to be sub-optimal and the city centre area is already congested.

David   15/01/2016 at 15:31

The Meadowhall station is not in Sheffield and not in Rotherham either. For most people the time saved on the faster train will be offset by the time taken to get to Meadowhall. It's pointless to put a station there.

Graham Nalty   15/01/2016 at 18:12

Of course a city centre location is right. It will deliver more passengers to HS2, and more jobs to the city region. There is no evidence from past station locations in France and Germany that out of town stations can deliver the same connectivity, and urban growth. I am afraid that HS2 Ltd., run by engineers rather than people with entrepreneurial and business acumen, have got it very wrong with their choice of Meadowhall. And probably also very wrong at Toton and Crewe as well. Just imagine that HS2 Ltd. had proposed a city centre station in Sheffield instead of Meadowhall. Would anyone have taken the trouble to say, against all the available evidence, that Meadwhall was a better choice? I doubt it. If anyone can say that there would have been an equally strong backlash against a city centre station and in favour of Meadowhall if HS2 Ltd. had proposed a city centre station. So that is proof that the HS2 Ltd. choice for Meadowhall is wrong and one that has to be changed.

Andrew G   16/01/2016 at 14:05

It's a new HS2 station between Sheffield and Rotherham close by to the M1 Motorway with rail, tram and bus connections to both Sheffield City Centre and Rotherham City Centre.

Steve   18/01/2016 at 15:56

Stratford International on HS1 is another prime example of politics winning over common sense where it cost more that £1bn to build a does less passengers per year than my local overground station (Leyton Midland Road). They could have kept the box in the same location but moved the terminal/station building to the south east end of the box adjacent to Platform 11/12 at Stratford (Regional) and integrated into the main station and I think it would be used much more.

Mikes   19/01/2016 at 01:18

Before taking a view, look carefully at the HS2 Ltd options. Victoria could not realistically be served on the main route - it would require a dedicated, relatively slow and winding loop. The main route route to Leeds would still go through Meadowhall but without a station there. The City Council's "report" only focuses on the net commercial benefits to the city, not to the region, and does not mention extra construction or operational costs or effects on journey times at all. Three MP's from the surrounding region oppose the City proposal.

Banklineman   22/01/2016 at 12:50

Sheffield Victoria is better location to support the creation of additional jobs and commerce it's also located close to the city centre of one of the largest cities in the UK, the existing formation is at it's minimum width 4 track to the proposed HS2 route from the south.Immediately south of Victoria the formation passes over the MML where interchange facilities to service South Yorkshire,North East Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire could be constucted.I accept on leaving Victoria to the north would be in tunnel to access the proposed HS2/3 route to the north and west "The Northernpower House " or is this all hot air.

Lesf   22/01/2016 at 15:22

A station midway between towns, falls between two stools. Connecting out-of-town parkways to those towns is "someone else's problem". Victoria is the right choice for a line en route to Manchester via Woodhead. Toton is not necessary. Derby should be served by trains running off a sensibly routed HS line through Derby station to Sheffield Midland. Nottingham should be served by trains running through Nottingham station to points north. HS2 is a limp apology for a rail plan. Tinkering with it won't make it viable. Start again with sound principles, not 400km/h stars in the eyes.

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