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MP calls for HS3 to extend to South Yorkshire

HS3 must be extended to include South Yorkshire as a critical necessity in the redevelopment and economic resilience of the north of England,the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge said in a House of Commons debate.

Angela Smith said that HS3, which received the green light in the most recent Budget, should include a tunnelled rail link through Penistone to connect Leeds and Hull with Sheffield and Rotherham in order to improve trans-Pennine rail links.

She said better trans-Pennine rail links were necessary to improve the train journeys between Manchester and Sheffield, which she said currently go at less than 50mph and are 2.3% over capacity at peak time.

Smith said: “We have heard that the government plan an HS3 route from Manchester to Leeds, and I need to make it clear and put it on the record that any such project cannot be allowed to miss out South Yorkshire.

“It is absolutely critical to the economic resilience and redevelopment of the north of England that the new rail route serves South Yorkshire and potentially the south bank of the Humber as much as it serves Leeds and the north bank of the Humber.”

Andrew Jones, parliamentary under-secretary for transport, said that the options laid out in the Transport for the North report included South Yorkshire, and that the government would supply a more detailed overview of the work needed for the different options by the end of the year.

He added that other improvements to the northern rail network included transferring the Northern franchise to Arriva, giving First Group sole control of the TransPennine Express franchise and Network Rail proposals to extend the Hope Valley line, which will be subject to a public inquiry in Dore from 10 May.

In 2014 Smith criticised the transfer of nine Class 170s from TransPennine to Chiltern Railways, saying 'the north would suffer'.

(Image c. Michael Fox)


Huguenot   14/04/2016 at 13:45

The obvious thing to do would be to use Woodhead tunnel (the 1950s one, not the old ones) which of course already has clearance for OHLE. National Grid would have to move their cables, which should never have been laid there in the first place.

Jb   15/04/2016 at 23:54

Well said Huguenot. Its a no-brainer really!

David   16/04/2016 at 01:48

Not quite. The 1950 Woodhead tunnel was deemed unsuitable for modern 25kV electrification, hence why the line was never converted.

Lutz   17/04/2016 at 12:10

It would be refreshing to have a politician claiming that investment in new infrastructure is vital/critical/essential, make the effort to both substantiate their claims and explain how the work will be financed. Nothing of that kind has been done for HS3 yet.

Roger Capel, Sheffield   18/04/2016 at 07:52

David, the tunnel was deemed "unsuitable" under very dodgy BR criteria. They also deemed the entire line "unsuitable" due to tight bridge clearances - only to convert the western third of the passenger route when the heat & public attention was off. The limited bridge clearances were dealt with by the high tech solution of a thick rubber sheath on the top (main) catenary wire, as can be seem at Broadbottom & Guide Bridge among others. Don't let BR obfuscation & in some cases bare faced lies deceive you. PS I'm reliably informed that reports that weighing in the scrap from the central & eastern sections of the MSW paid for the 25Kv conversion of the western section are true.

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