Wentworth and Dearne MP, John Healey, has written to the Transport Secretary to ask why Rotherham is still waiting for HS2 blight restrictions to be lifted.
It’s after the Government announced today (18th January) that it has formally lifted the Safeguarding Directions for HS2 Phase 2a – between the West Midlands and Crewe.
In his letter John says: “This is good news for those living in the area between West Midlands and Crewe that have faced years of anxiety with the long shadow of HS2 looming over them along with the threat of compulsory HS2 purchase, blight on property prices and a freeze on any other developments. However, it is of little consequence to those living in Rotherham who still face the same issues and feel that same worry 8 years on.
“Now the decision has been taken for HS2 Phase 2a there really is no reason to not lift “safeguarding land restrictions” imposed by Ministers for HS2 on large areas of land in Rotherham.”
Last summer the Rail Minster claimed that the Government’s study of IRP (Integrated Rail Plan) links to Leeds meant that safeguarding restrictions would not be lifted in the area because they were still looking to complete the HS2 Eastern Leg, as had been ‘previously scoped’, and that the Government was looking to upgrade lines between Sheffield and Leeds.
In his letter John added: “With HS2 now being scrapped beyond Birmingham the first part of the argument no longer holds firm and the second line of reasoning can be clearly dismissed by looking at a map to see that the community of Bramley, in my constituency, and those further afield in Rotherham, like Aston and Wales Bar, are nowhere near a new Sheffield-Leeds rail route.
“I would appreciate it if you could please provide me with the latest reasoning as to why the decision to lift blight in Rotherham has not been made.
“People deserve to live their lives without the worry of HS2 hanging over them and I would urge you again to lift the HS2 blight on our area and let people live their lives without this fear.”
You can read my letter in full below.