1. ITV Report

HS2: Homes to be demolished to make way for new route

New homes in South Yorkshire will be demolished to make way for the final stage of the HS2 high-speed railway.

Properties on the Shimmer housing estate in Mexborough in Doncaster will be bulldozed to make way for the new route.

At an estimated cost of almost £56 billion it is set to be the the most expensive railway in the world.

And experts say that could soar to £100 billion by the time it is finished.

The Department for Transport said 16 properties on the Shimmer estate, which was only built a few years ago, will go under the plans.

Understandably residents are not happy - with some only finding out about the HS2 plans just weeks after they had moved in.

Pete and Sue Douglas retired to the Shimmer estate just three years ago. Credit: ITV News

Pete and Sue Douglas chose to retire on the estate of two and three-storey town houses three years ago.

But are now facing the prospect of finding somewhere new to live.

"The way we've been treated by HS2 and the Government, it just compounds the idea that we don't count as people anymore," Mrs Douglas said.

"We're just bricks and mortar. We don't have lives, we don't have rights."

The new route will cut through this valley in Mexborough bulldozing houses in its path. Credit: ITV News
How the new route will look from London. Credit: Department for Transport

The route decision means no new stations will be built in South Yorkshire.

It comes after ministers decided the line should serve the existing Sheffield city centre station after proposals to run trains to Meadowhall shopping centre were shelved.

Labour's Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said she was "furious" because South Yorkshire "won't get a proper stop".

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the Government will ensure communities affected by the railway receive "appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect".

He added residents forced to leave their homes will be compensated - but by how much has yet to be revealed.

He said: "As well as creating skilled jobs, apprenticeships and business opportunities, it will also mean real day-to-day improvements for people around the country.

"Britain's new railway line will bring huge economic benefits across the country and help ensure this Government delivers on its promise to spread wealth beyond London and the south-east."

Transport Secretary Chris Graying has sought to reassure residents who are affected. Credit: ITV News

The new connections will connect Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and the East Midlands - with all of them being linked to London by the line.

It will mean journeys from Birmingham to Manchester will be cut by half - arriving in just 40 minutes rather than the 80 minutes it currently takes.

The new line will also free up thousands of extra seats and additional services on local lines, the Department for Transport said.

The service is also set to bring a massive economic boost to the north and the Midlands by creating thousands of jobs and business opportunities.

Major contracts to build the first phase of the railway are due to be announced. Credit: PA

Once completed in 2033, 30 million people will be served by the HS2 over 25 stations and could carry 300,000 people a day.

Major contracts to build the first phase of the railway were also announced.

The £6.6 billion-work will involve constructing tunnels, embankments and viaducts between London and Birmingham, which is estimated to support 16,000 jobs.

A number of foreign firms were successful in bidding for the work, including Swedish-based Skanska, French company Bouygues Travaux and Austria's Strabag.

The contracts are estimated to support 16,000 jobs.

In February, Parliament granted powers to build Phase 1 of the line, which is due to open in December 2026.

Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to the East Midlands and Leeds, is due to open in 2033.