High-speed rail station campaign launched

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OPPOSITION Lib Dem councillors in Sheffield have launched a campaign for a new high speed railway station at the old Sheffield Victoria station site.

Earlier this month, the Government confirmed that after the first phase of high speed rail (HSR) is completed – from London to Birmingham – the second phases from Birmingham to Manchester and from Birmingham to Sheffield and Leeds will follow.

However, it is understood that the new railway station to serve Sheffield is likely not to be in the city centre, but as far out as Meadowhall or Rotherham.

Yesterday, Lib Dem members of Sheffield Council said they believed a new high speed station on the old Victoria site would “regenerate the surrounding area”.

The station, which shut in 1970, was close to what is now the Royal Victoria Holiday Inn hotel.

Lib Dems are set to take their plans to the next full meeting of the council and urge the local authority to throw its weight behind the campaign.

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of the Lib Dem group, said: “We believe that the new high speed rail station should be located as close to Sheffield city centre as possible. The old Victoria site would be the perfect solution.

“Locating the station somewhere like Meadowhall would see passengers travel four miles out of the city, therefore the improved one hour ten minutes journey time to London would be negated.

“Having the station in this area would provide an opportunity for much-needed regeneration.”

However, yesterday a spokesman for Sheffield Council said they couldn’t comment on “specific station possibilities”.

They added: “The city council, along with other South Yorkshire delivery partners are working with HS2 on a range of South Yorkshire station options to be presented to the minister in 2012.

“This work is necessarily confidential and our involvement is strictly governed by confidentiality agreements.

“Sheffield Council is strongly committed to HS2.”

jeni.harvey@ypn.co.uk