New recommendations for HS2’s route and station proposals in South Yorkshire, cutting the cost of the project by about £1bn, have been confirmed in a report by David Higgins.
The new option proposes that HS2 services between London and Sheffield would take a spur off the new north-south high speed line and travel directly to the existing Sheffield Midland station using the existing railway line. These trains therefore could potentially also call at Chesterfield.
There is also the future option of HS2 services extending onwards to the existing Meadowhall station, Rotherham or Barnsley.
A city centre station for Sheffield high speed services would allow the main HS2 line to be built east of the previously proposed route, through less densely populated areas that would avoid the complexities of building a line via Meadowhall.
The newly proposed route would cut journey times on services heading to Leeds, York and Newcastle, and would also reduce the cost of the project by around £1bn.
HS2 Ltd will also investigate the possibility of a Dearne Valley parkway station on this newly proposed route, which in part follows the M18 motorway.
Andrew Denniff, chief executive at Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been consistent from Day One in supporting the HS2 option for Meadowhall as we felt that was the best option for the whole city region.
“The new proposal from HS2 appears to offer a solution that gives something to everyone and still manages to provide a link into the main route for Sheffield city centre. I am sure this will meet with widespread approval, it’s just a shame this could not have been tabled some years ago and we could have been much further advanced with the project and indeed saved a lot of time and expense.”