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Changed HS2 Sheffield route puts more pressure on TfN and Northern Powerhouse Rail

Changes to the HS2 route through Sheffield have been met with a mixed reaction from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), which warned that they put more pressure on Transport for the North and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) to make the case for the necessary upgrades.

HS2 Ltd published new plans recently for the high-speed route to stop at Sheffield Midland instead of Meadowhall in a bid to save £1bn from its £55bn budget.

In a paper published ahead of tomorrow’s board meeting, the WYCA said that the proposed change “puts more emphasis on Northern Powerhouse Rail/Transport for the North to make the case for and fund the necessary upgrades/links”.

At the same time, the report said the new proposals have made the promised faster journey times between Leeds and Sheffield less certain.

It also said that they require more clarity about the impact of the changes on the wider West to South Yorkshire rail network and the East Coast Main Line, as well as more commitment to the parkway that could serve south Wakefield and north Barnsley.

The WYCA said the new proposals open up the possibility of bringing forward HS2 in Yorkshire, for instance by establishing NPR services between Leeds and Sheffield before the HS2 eastern leg is finished.

However, the report said that it was positive that HS2 “had listened to the views of partners”, following criticism of its engagement with those affected by the network.

It added that HS2 is becoming more open about integrating with NPR, including allowing non-HS2 trains to use its track.

The report also included the latest results of an ongoing consultation on how to maximise the benefits of NPR for the region.

It said that there should be an NPR stop at York and a location between Leeds and Manchester, probably Bradford, in order to offset concerns that the current route options are too focused on connections between the major cities of Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and Hull.

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Michael Wand   27/07/2016 at 17:40

I submitted this scheme for a Northern Cities Crossrail to the Lords Select Committee looking into HS2: call it Northern Powerhouse Rail if you like. It fast-connects York, Leeds, Bradford, Mirfield and Sheffield Midland to Manchester Victoria, through the economic divide of the Pennines: If the new Chancellor is a bit short of cash, he could always start off with the York, Leeds and Bardford fast connector to Sheffield Midland, extending the MML to the same cities in the process. Critiques welcome. Website is:

Graham Nalty   28/07/2016 at 11:36

The HS2 revised plan for South Yorkshire may seem better, but there are many shortcomings. It seems to be based on 1980s thinking when most people traveled by car except for journeys to London. The revised HS2 plans do not give a satisfactory solution for the Birmingham to Leeds HS2 trains because, without further investment, journeys via Sheffield (the largest intermediate market) would take about about 30 minutes longer. All the claimed savings of the new route would be lost with TfN costs of a high speed route between Leeds and Sheffield. The idea of a parkway station is really rather ill-conceived. It would have been far better to divert the line a few miles further east to serve Doncaster and then run parallel to the east coast main line to York. building the line alongside the ECML would save hundreds of millions. And it would be far more efficient to serve Sheffield and Leeds with the same HS2 trains, and supporting the Northern Powerhouse at the same time.

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