HS2 eastern leg: Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband says cancellation is a 'disgrace' after Mexborough residents were forced from their homes

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband has called the decision to force residents from their homes for HS2 in Mexborough as a ‘disgrace’ as the line is now expected to be axed.

Government officials working in the Department for Transport have told national publications that ministers are set to announce the cancellation of the line from Birmingham through South Yorkshire and onto Leeds.

The line, if built, would have ploughed through the Shimmer estate in Mexborough. Many had to leave their homes to make way for the line and as of December 2020, central government had purchased over 75 homes.

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The expected decision to cancel the eastern leg has sparked uproar from many northern leaders in politics and in business.

The government purchased homes on the Shimmer estate in Mexborough for HS2 land before the development was even finished

Mr Miliband told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he has been ‘arguing for five years’ that the current M18 route for the eastern leg was the wrong one and instead should have stayed with the option of having a regional station at Meadowhall.

It is expected that ministers will unveil more localised improvements ‘high speed improvements’ between Sheffield and Leeds as well as Birmingham and the East Midlands.

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Doncaster mayor Ros Jones said she was awaiting details of the Integrated Rail Plan which has been put together by Transport for the North and outlines more localised improvements to services across northern England

Some residents found out about the land purchase only weeks after moving in

HS2 and the IRP were both key rail infrastructure plans promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the run up to the 2019 general election.

Mr Miliband said: “I have argued for five years that the M18 route is the wrong route for my constituents, for Mexborough, Doncaster and for the economic regeneration we need. Instead we should have stuck with the original Meadowhall route.

“It is long past time for the government to end the uncertainty and say the M18 route is not the right answer. People on the affected route have suffered in an appalling way from government blight, dither and delay.

“It is a disgrace that they have been left in limbo for so long.”

Mayor Ros Jones added: “The Integrated Rail Plan has been a long time coming, once it has been released we will have to look into the details to fully understand the implications for Doncaster and the wider region.

“Whilst I was not in favour of the proposed route of HS2 through Doncaster, It is clear that the north will not be getting the level of investment that we were expecting.

“I will continue to push for the best possible transport investment for the Doncaster borough.“