‘It’s Meadowhall or bust’- Doncaster and Rotherham Council Leaders thrown down gauntlet on South Yorkshire HS2

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones and Rotherham Council Leader Coun Chris Read have both met with Douglas Oakervee, who is leading the HS2 review, where they restated their position and wish to go back to the original Meadowhall option or completely reconsider the eastern leg. Announcing they had met with Mr. Oakervee earlier in September, the Mayor has promised to provide an update on their meeting.

Originally, the route through South Yorkshire was supposed to stop at Meadowhall, however Sheffield council, who were upset that they wouldn’t be getting a city centre station, attempted to persuade the government to change their mind. Meaning, the route was changed and several properties along the Doncaster/Rotherham region including many in Mexborough are set to be demolished.

Sheffield was granted a city centre station, however the line branching off from Chesterfield into the new station is established on a ‘spur’ which is slower than the intended HS2 line. Mayor Jones and Coun Read labelled the Sheffield spur option a ‘second class solution for South Yorkshire’.

Leaders have admitted to being ‘deeply concerned’ at the recent bill for the HS2 and extending timescale of completing the rail project. Naming the solution a ‘devastating blow’ for residents and all communities who will witness ‘more properties demolished than originally claimed’.

Mayor Ros Jones vocalized: “Delivering HS2 must not come at the expense of other vital rail investments in the north or measures to protect communities. That would be a betrayal of our region and the government’s commitment to rebalance the national economy”

“We are set to see mass demolition so HS2 can pass through our region with slim beneficial impacts for our residents, communities and economy. It’s all pain and no gain”

“Passengers and services are suffering. We can’t wait another 20 years to deliver much needed rail improvement. We either go back to the Meadowhall option or seriously look at the planned eastern leg”

Coun Chris Read, leader of the Rotherham council insisted: “The current HS2 proposal offers little or no economic benefit to the Rotherham borough and its businesses”

“We need either a Meadowhall stop or we call on the Government and insist on scrapping the development all together rather than build it in a way that will cause years of unnecessary disruption at massive cost. As well, instead reallocate the saving to fund essential improvements to regional rail connectivity through the Northern Powerhouse Rail”

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