TRANSPORT Secretary Chris Grayling has been urged to commission a study on the case for a high speed rail station close to the M18 by a South Yorkshire MP.
Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey said he was “dismated” by proposed changes to the route of the HS2 high speed rail line and the new plans for stations in South Yorkshire.
HS2 has recommended scrapping the initial plan for a station at Meadowhall and is instead suggesting trains use a spur from the mainline to call at the existing Sheffield Midlands station.
The proposal also suggests moving the route of the line much further east, putting a series of communities in its path that had previously thought they would be untouched by the project.
HS2 has suggested the Government commission a study looking at the case for a “parkway” station to serve the wider South Yorkshire area being built along the M18,
Mr Healey has asked Mr Grayling to press ahead with that study “without delay”.
In a letter to Mr Grayling, Mr Healey said the changes by HS2 “came out of the blue”.
He wrote: “I and other local MPs were behind the plans for HS2 with a new station on the route at Meadowhall which could bring big benefits and opportunities to the whole of South Yorkshire, unlike the new proposals.
“I am dismayed that Meadowhall may now be dropped and opposed to proposals that change this routes and mean HS2 runs through South Yorkshire without stopping in South Yorkshire.”
Mr Healey’s letter reflects concern in South Yorkshire that the parkway station proposal has been suggested to deflect criticism that Sheffield will benefit from the changes to the route and stations but the idea will be quietly dropped as the project progresses.
The Government is due to make a final decision on the route and station locations for HS2 in Yorkshire by the end of the year.
Plans for a new station in Leeds for HS2 have already been scrapped in favour of a major overhaul of the existing station to cope with high speed services..