In a joint submission to the Government, MPs from Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield have made clear their opposition to the new HS2 route proposed in Summer 2016.
Ed Miliband, Kevin Barron, Caroline Flint, John Healey, Angela Smith and Rosie Winterton joined forces to send the Government a blistering assessment of HS2’s proposal to move the high speed station away from Meadowhall.
Their submission dismantles the reasons HS2 and the government have given for favouring the new M18 route, because:
• Cost savings will not materialise
• Journey times will be slower
• Meadowhall offers far better connectivity with the rest of Yorkshire
• A study has shown the Meadowhall option would lead to 45 per cent more jobs created and a greater economic benefit to South Yorkshire of up to 75 per cent
In a joint statement the MPs said: “It is clear that by every test the new M18 spur route is not in the best interests of the South Yorkshire region.
“The new route will result in slower journey times, fewer, smaller trains and will not provide the economic benefits to the wider region in comparison to the previous Meadowhall option.
“As we say in our submission to the Secretary of State: We must not miss the opportunity that HS2 could bring to invigorate the South Yorkshire region, to grow our economies, to better connect us and allow the region to share in the prosperity that the project can bring.
“We believe the case for this route is clear and decisive.
“The reality is that the M18 route is a badly thought out, ill-judged compromise option which nobody outside HS2 truly supports.
“This is why we have strongly urged the Government to return to the Meadowhall route.”
Rotherham and Doncaster councils are also making formal submissions, which the MPs have endorsed.
A study for Mott McDonald for the councils has concluded that the Meadowhall route would lead to 45 per cent more jobs being created and a greater economic benefit of up to 75 per cent for the whole region. The M18 route offers fewer, smaller trains and slower journey times, and no certainty of a link between Sheffield and Leeds.