HS2 route to Yorkshire confirmed

July 17, 2017

The Government's Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed on Monday July 17 the route of the Yorkshire section of HS2 - the Y-shaped high speed lines which will link the Midlands with London Euston with extensions to Manchester and to Leeds.

Mr Grayling said: "By building a whole new railway line for high-speed intercity connections, we will free up local services, meaning more comfort, more seats and more trains for passengers across the north and the midlands.

"We will now press ahead with building the line, while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect."

Yorkshire's only station directly on the new HS2 line will be Leeds.

In Sheffield, city planners called for trains to operate over conventional tracks into Sheffield from a point south of Chesterfield, scrapping the idea of an HS2 interchange station at Meadowhall on the edge of Sheffield, which would have benefited other South Yorkshire towns.

In its announcement the government said the new line would free up thousands of extra seats and additional services on local lines. It said new research showed the impact of HS2 could more than double rush hour seats from Leeds towards Wakefield.

The reality, however, would seem to be that passengers from Wakefield wishing to use HS2 would have to join those rush hour commuters when they have to travel north to Leeds to catch the HS2 train south to London rather than catching direct London trains from Wakefield stations. The extra time taken to do this and change trains is likely to mean no real benefit from HS2 over existing services.

The new HS2 route caused controversy through being rerouted through newly-built housing in Mexborough, South Yorkshire. The government has confirmed it will ensure homeowners on the Shimmer estate in Mexborough can secure a comparable local home.

In Doncaster, another Yorkshire town which stands to make no gains from HS2 over existing routes and whose metropolitan district includes Mexborough, the elected mayor said the wrong decision had been made.

The initial response from Ros Jones said: "We are deeply disappointed that the Government is imposing this second rate solution for HS2 on our region. It is quite simply the wrong decision and there is no rational justification for it."

The latest announcement will also mean that a new junction will be designed near Clayton to help the running of faster trains between Sheffield and Leeds which would by-pass Wakefield.

There is also now a plan to move the new rolling stock depot which was controversially planned at New Crofton, south of Wakefield, to a former power station site in the Aire Valley east of Leeds and consultations will be held on this.

The first section of the line will, of course, be started in London and trains are expected to be reaching Birmingham in about nine years. Trains should be running to Yorkshire by 2033.

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