HS2 to save £1bn by stopping at Sheffield Midland under new plans

HS2 will stop at Sheffield Midland instead of Meadowhall under revised proposals for the high-speed rail service’s South Yorkshire route.

The route would take a spur along existing track to Sheffield Midland, with the additional option of calling at Chesterfield and extending to Meadowhall, Rotherham or Barnsley, as well as introducing a parkway station along the route.

In a new report, HS2 said the new route would save around £1bn, following the recruitment of Civil Service head Sir Jeremy Heywood to try to keep the project within its £55bn budget.

Sir David Higgins, chair of HS2, said: “Projects of HS2’s size, scale and significance should seek to provide the maximum benefit for the people they serve.

“I have listened to the very constructive comments and discussions that have taken place on how HS2 should best serve South Yorkshire and recommend the option of HS2 services using the existing city centre station.

“Decisions of this scale sometimes involve compromise, and through dialogue I believe we have reached the best solution for South Yorkshire.”

Sir david

Sir David said the route provided the best opportunities for ensuring HS2 services in South Yorkshire were a core part of the network whilst preserving the integrity of the service to York, Leeds and Newcastle.

The new route also opens up the possibility of building a link to Leeds north of Sheffield, which could deliver Transport for the North’s ambition for a frequent 30-minute service between Leeds and Sheffield and allow Birmingham to Leeds HS2 services to run through Sheffield.

In his report, Sir David admitted that the proposal creates “fresh uncertainty” for residents along the M18, which the route partially follows, and said that he would ensure that their concerns were addressed “as quickly as possible”.

Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “HS2 is a vital investment in the Sheffield City Region’s future. I am delighted that we have had the time to work constructively to ensure the city region could be best served by Britain’s new high speed rail network, which we expect to include trains calling at Chesterfield in the south of the city region, a parkway station as well as the line into the centre of Sheffield.

“Connectivity with the rest of the UK is a major factor in achieving our growth plans. Of equal importance is the inter-connectivity within the North, via HS3, and we look forward to working with the government and other partners to bring that into fruition as quickly as possible. So I welcome David Higgins’ report and look forward to the Secretary of State’s decision in due course.”

Transport secretary Patrick McLouglin said it was his intention to make an announcement on the HS2 Phase 2 route, of which South Yorkshire is a part, later this year.

He said: “Should I decide to adopt the report’s recommendations as my preferred option in South Yorkshire I will then hold a public consultation in order to allow local stakeholders and affected communities the opportunity to comment on the proposal, alongside a consultation on the property compensation and assistance schemes for the entire route.”

Richard Wright, executive director at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, which has campaigned for an alternative HS2 station location, said:  “Sheffield Chamber will always campaign hard, and hold people to account, to make the best economic decision so we are delighted with this.

“Of course the work does not stop here. We will campaign equally as hard to get the right number of services through the station and the right connectivity from the station to the rest of the region.”

HS2 has recently been criticised for being behind schedule and failing to engage with members of the public.

Lord Berkeley, chair of the Rail Freight Group, has warned that its future is in doubt following the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

(Image: c. St BC)

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Long Branch Mike   07/07/2016 at 16:07

A Win-Win scenario - city centre access AND lower cost.

Anon   08/07/2016 at 12:32

@Long - yes and no. At face value, big tick. However, how will this affect the capacity of the Midland station when there are already capacity bottlenecks especially at the northbound end? New railway, no matter how important to UK PLC, should make the existing domestic service worse. Not everyone uses Sheffield to access London or come from there.

Merseyferry   08/07/2016 at 12:43

A much welcomed revised route that will see more businesses prosper and jobs in this region improved. I agree with Anon though the bottlenech at Midland station is causing problems now so this station and the Doncaster one (i know its not calling there) but needs renovating to cope with the increased capacity of travellers.

Derek T   08/07/2016 at 13:09

With Chesterfield and Sheffield being so close together, the train will not be able to get up to speed, it would be quicker to go to Sheffield and have a connecting train back. Indeed, for the whole region, the problem is out of date rolling stock, HS2 is a waste of money that could be used to improve cross country travel and help people avoid London instead of pushing them into it. Why go through London to get to Norwich? Madness, there needs to be much better investment in cross country services not a London centric network

Jak Jaye   08/07/2016 at 13:25

I will believe HS2 when i see it ,a huge waste of money building 'spurs' off HST routes whats that about,the French who know a thing or two about railways must be laughing. You cant keep trying to put a quart in a pint pot thanks to that railway vandal Beeching and co. we have the smallest network since the 1900s Derek T is right modernise the railway we have before wasting billions on another

John Grant   08/07/2016 at 14:38

"Why go through London to get to Norwich?" Don't understand that; the hourly Liverpool Norwich service calls at Sheffield. Or is it quicker via London?

Steve Mcgregor   08/07/2016 at 16:14

What gives Chesterfield a case for consideration for a HS2 stop when nowhere between London and Birmingham is considered because it would negate the high line speed benefit? Sheffield to Chesterfield is 15 miles or so, London to Birmingham is about 85 miles, stop for some trains between these two points might give a bit of credibility to the project

Stuart Condie   08/07/2016 at 16:35

How about saving £55 billion and canning the whole HS2 project. We can't afford it in the post Brexit wasteland and a "develop what we've got" project should be costed up instead.

Gb   08/07/2016 at 18:15

I agree with the comments to shelve the HS2 prpoposals entirely and instead develop the existing system. Re-instating the former MR and GC routes to Manchester would involve far less disruption and distress, save a lot of money, increase capacity and provide better connectivity. These are but a couple of possibilities; there are several more. The money saved would be far better spent on the NHS, the Police, the Fire Service, schools and other public services in need of capital. These issues are far more important than shaving a few minutes off journey times for a few.

Wimg   10/07/2016 at 06:00

I'm looking forward , pick the DB Siemens Valero from Amsterdam to St Pancras (when ... , if they let me in), make the usual stroll to Euston (with my rollator) and pick the Hitachi Bullettrain all the way to Chesterfield, to see the Flying Scotsman and all the stuff in Barrow Hill. I love the idea!

Banklineman   11/07/2016 at 16:45

Gb has a point, but if the country really needs HS2/3 to ease capacity problems and rebalance the economy and give the north a chance and also save money on new build infrastructure ,the whole route should be reappraised.It's far more economical to build one formation as far north as possible,why keep insisting on going via Birmingham to Manchester and having to tunnel for miles under the Manchester suburbs only to reach the stop blocks at Piccadilly. Would it not make more engineering, commercial and economic sense to route too the North West Via Sheffield Victoria the Longdendale Valley which is presentley a major transit route into a East West Tunnel under Piccadilly then onto MCR Airport,the Cheshire towns, Nth Wales and Liverpool.Lets be honest no govermennt is going to fund a direct highspeed line over the nortern fells to Glasgow

Idris   12/07/2016 at 08:28

Breaking News; "HS2 to cut 95% of costs by finishing just outside the M25" - The only way to avoid feature creep on these things is to start at the destination and work backward (South). The desire to finish the last leg would become greater as it approached London.

Geordie   02/08/2016 at 16:33

More back of a fag packet stuff. How much longer before this utter nonsensical project is binned? It won't relieve any capacity issues and will prevent money going towards rail improvements that will.

Jacob   29/09/2016 at 11:47

The glaringly obvious solution, and one which has managed to pass by every rail planner involved, is to construct a spur and reopen Sheffield Victoria, at least partially, to increase platform capacity for the city centre. All terminating services from north of Sheffield could call there, and the retention of the Stocksbridge branch means railway infrastructure and land still exists to allow it to happen. It wouldn't be as big as the original, granted, but there has to be room for a structure big enough to handle regional services. That would remove a major bottleneck and ultimately provide much-needed capacity for HS2 should it call at Sheffield Midland - which, for the record, is vital for the city centre economy, given that it has been hit hard by Meadowhall since it was opened. The logistics south of Sheffield are the major issue - there is room for additional track in places, but there will still be squeeze points, particularly around Dore & Totley, which will be difficult to mitigate against. In addition, there will have to be a lot of work to rebuild rusting bridges and protect against flooding from the Sheaf if high speed rail is going to be viable on that section of line.

Supersan   19/10/2016 at 23:32

Lose. Lose. You get a slow spur into Sheffield but can only go south on it outbound. No link from Sheffield to Leeds. Lose. Lose. No saving because what is saved from the Meadowhall station will have to be spent on constructing the link to Leeds (if it ever happens!) Great for linking London to Sheffield and Leeds but not much good for linking the so called Northern Powerhouse. We lose out on this new route. Get it back to Meadowhall and serve South Yorkshire!

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