MPs to press for M18 station to serve HS2 line

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SOUTH YORKSHIRE MPs will press the Government to commit to delivering an extra HS2 station in the area after ministers confirmed the route of the rail line.

The idea of a parkway station to allow passengers to join services as the line runs close to the M18 was floated last year but the Government has yet to promise it will be delivered.

How HS2 could look

How HS2 could look

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed on Monday the revised plan for the HS2 line which will see it run between Rotherham and Doncaster as it heads North to Leeds.

The change also involves the scrapping of the proposed Meadowhall station with trains instead taking a spur off the mainline and stopping in Sheffield.

South Yorkshire MPs outside Sheffield have argued the change means the line will bring fewer benefits to their constituencies while increasing disruption to the area.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey said: “I have opposed the change of route since the outset and I’ll continue to argue strongly for a main route HS2 station in South Yorkshire, which is vital for future jobs and growth.

“The Transport Secretary has confirmed in a letter to me that consideration of a South Yorkshire parkway station is ongoing and I – alongside other local MPs – will continue to press the case for this.”

A concerted campaign from Sheffield City Council and the city’s business community for a city centre station led HS2 Ltd, the Government-owned company developing the line, to set out revised plans for the route last year.

Proposals for a station at Meadowhall were replaced with a plan to divert some trains off the mainline via a spur at Chesterfield into the existing Sheffield station.

In a bid to save money on construction costs, HS2 also proposed re-routing the line further east to run alongside the M18.

It suggested a parkway station could be built alongside the motorway but there was no firm commitment and on Monday Mr Grayling only said the Government will “continue to work” on the idea.

The latest HS2 announcement included confirmation the line will continue north to Leeds where services will call at a remodelled city station.

West Yorkshire leaders urged the Government to commit to trans-Pennine high speed rail services which would connect to HS2.

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “Only by delivering faster, more frequent and better-quality trains between Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Leeds, and the rest of the North, can we unlock the full potential of the Northern Powerhouse.

“To ensure HS2 is truly transformational we now need firm commitment from the Government to invest in east-west high speed rail.”

Plans for trans-Pennine high speed rail, a project known as Northern Powerhouse Rail backed in principle by ministers, are being drawn up and more details are expected to be made public before the end of the year.