New study to examine minimising the impact of HS2 on local homes, communities and businesses
Local leaders from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Combined Authority have reiterated their support for HS2 coming to the Sheffield City Region but have committed to assessing the new option, so that if it is accepted by Government, it is less disruptive to local communities. The Combined Authority and LEP will commission an independent study to explore ways to minimise HS2 Ltd’s new proposed line’s impact on local homes, communities and businesses.
All leaders are agreed that HS2 is important for the future growth of the city region but that this study is needed so that, if the new proposal is accepted, the disruption to homes and communities is minimised. Doncaster and Rotherham remain opposed to the new proposals put forward by HS2 Ltd earlier this year.
Sir Steve Houghton, Chair of Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, said: “Local leaders support HS2 and recognise its importance to strong, sustained growth in Sheffield City Region and the North. However, we share concerns about the impact on local communities if the new proposed route is accepted by Government and we are working in partnership to put forward the strongest possible case for a realigned route which is less disruptive to our local communities.”
Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “HS2 has the potential to bring transformational change to our city region but we must ensure that we maximise its potential so that it benefits all residents and businesses and has as little negative impact on homes and communities as possible.”
In HS2 Ltd’s new proposal, which was published earlier this year, Sir David Higgins recommended running up to two trains per hour into Sheffield city centre. If the government goes ahead with this new proposal this would take the main HS2 line through the eastern part of the City Region.
In addition, the LEP and Combined Authority are seeking clearer commitment from HS2 Ltd to including a parkway station north of Sheffield on the main HS2 line. The potential for a parkway station on the M18/Eastern leg was referenced in the recent report from HS2 Ltd. Local leaders are asking for confirmation that this is definitely going to be a reality in Sheffield City Region if the new route is accepted by Government, a decision about which is expected in 2017. Local leaders are also asking HS2 Ltd to give clear and unequivocal commitment to the construction of the loop north of Sheffield to the main HS2 line which will significantly improve journey times to Leeds. Local leaders are asking Government for both the parkway station and the northern loop to be included in their hybrid legislation.