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Government leaves Sheffield HS2 question unresolved as preferred route published

Government leaves Sheffield HS2 question unresolved as preferred route published

The government has published its preferred route for the second phase of HS2, but has left open the question of where to construct the line through Sheffield.

Under the new plans, the eastern spur of the Y-shaped route will still go up to Leeds via an East Midlands Hub at Toton, between Nottingham and Derby.

However, while the line will travel directly up to Leeds, there will be a loop via Sheffield city centre, with the old plan to run the line via the Meadowhall Centre on the north-eastern outskirts of the city being replaced with a plan for a stop at the existing Midland Station in the city centre.

At this point it is not clear exactly what that route will be, with one possibility being the demolition of a new housing estate at Mexborough to clear the way for a line, or for trains to branch off onto the existing East Coast Main Line and pass through Chesterfield and Sheffield before rejoining the route to Leeds north of the city.

The government will now consult on the various Sheffield options before announcing its decision next year. Construction is still planned to be complete in 2032.

Other changes to the eastern spur include directing the route around East Midlands Airport instead of tunnelling under it.

The western section will still see the line north of Crewe going to central Manchester via Manchester Airport, with a small spur up to Wigan to facilitate a link with Liverpool and with the West Coast Main Line up to Scotland. Changes include moving the tunnel under Manchester to avoid this emerging where a school and housing estate now stand in Gorton.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme about the Sheffield issue, transport secretary Chris Grayling said: "The issue has been, do we build a line that passes on the edge of Sheffield to a very complex new station at Meadowhall alongside the shopping centre?

"Or do we do what Sheffield City Council requested, which is to take trains into the centre of Sheffield to Sheffield Midland station."

Image: From a press release

 

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