HS2 route decision shows 'contempt' for residents of South Yorkshire

The HS2 line will run from an East Midlands hub to Leeds, without stopping in South Yorkshire Credit: HS2 Ltd / Department for Transport

Campaigners have reacted angrily after the government announced that HS2 will follow the 'eastern' route, which will run through towns and villages in South Yorkshire, but bypass Sheffield.

An alternative spur from the HS2 line will connect with Chesterfield and Sheffield Midland stations, but the main route will not stop in South Yorkshire.

In making the decision, HS2 Ltd argues that 'the market for travel by HS2 to and from South Yorkshire, though important, was smaller than the market further north including Leeds, York and Newcastle.'

But the Government has come under fire for ignoring the views of those who responded to the public consultation.

Rother Valley MP Sir Kevin Barron said the decision showed 'contempt' for the people of South Yorkshire, criticising the Government for not meeting with residents ahead of the decision as promised.

The decision will force the demolition of some new-build properties on the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough, but HS2 Ltd argue that this is the least impactful of the options available.

The company says the M18 / Eastern route will result in 35 residential and 16 commercial demolitions, including 16 residential properties at the Shimmer estate.

But campaigners say the demolitions should be calculated to include 'the full 216 properties originally planned at the Shimmer estate', on which basis the M18 demolition numbers would be higher.

The Transport Secretary had been expected to announce the decision in the House of Commons, and came under fire from opposition MPs including Angela Smith, Clive Betts and Dennis Skinner for 'sneaking out' a written statement instead.

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Meanwhile, campaigners who've come together under the banner of 'Stop HS2' released a statement that repeated their claim that HS2 is not designed to benefit those in the north.