John recently met the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, to discuss HS2 and share the views of local residents, businesses and councils.
“Top priority must be regional rail improvements,” John said, “so we get better capacity on the routes people need, we get a boost to the economy and we get faster train times as well.
“If we’re going ahead with HS2, then we’ve got to have a rethink of the route. The M18 route at the moment brings the worst of all worlds for South Yorkshire.
“We’ve got to have a reversion to the Meadowhall route stop which brings better connections with the rest of South Yorkshire, a better boost to our economy and jobs and faster journey times.”
The National Infrastructure Commission’s report ‘Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North‘ found that a package of regional improvements – rather than HS2 – would result in more rail capacity on the routes people need, giving greater productivity benefits to the economy and faster journeys for travellers.
HS2 will have a big impact on South Yorkshire but won’t benefit the area.
The original Meadowhall route provides faster journey times, better prospects for regeneration and jobs, excellent connectivity and more capacity, at similar cost.
The financial case for switching from it to the M18 route has proved flawed.
The M18 route has limited ambitions for South Yorkshire, with no High Speed station, fewer trains, longer journey times and poorer connectivity. It does not have support from residents or Doncaster and Rotherham councils.