Ed Milliband vows to continue fighting HS2 through Doncaster

Ed Miliband was runner-up in the local MP stakes.

Ed Miliband was runner-up in the local MP stakes.

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Doncaster MP Ed Miliband says he will continue to fight plans for a high speed rail line through Doncaster - despite a possible station in the borough.

It emerged this week that three sites in Doncaster are potential locations for a parkway station on the line, which would cut through the Dearne Valley under proposals put forward for the HS2 route.

Doncaster Council has unanimously passed a motion opposing a HS2 route through the borough.

Doncaster Council has unanimously passed a motion opposing a HS2 route through the borough.

The possible sites are Mexborough, Hickleton and Clayton, in Doncaster, as well as Bramley, Wales and Hooton Roberts in Rotherham, and Fiztwilliam and Hemsworth in West Yorkshire.

The proposed route has caused controversy as it would cut through a new housing estate in Mexborough, with some homes having to be demolished.

But Mr Miliband, who is MP for Mexborough says he will still fight against the plans, despite the possible station in his constituency.

Dearne MP John Healey has previously stated he would fight for a station to be built in the area if the route goes ahead.

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Mr Miliband said he understood why the proposals for a parkway station may alarm people.

He said: “I want the route stopped, and that is my priority given that no final decision has been made. I don’t believe a new parkway station makes the M18 route the right choice and I think we need to be clear with HS2 about this,

“That was the message from Mayor Ros Jones, me, and councillors of all parties at the briefing meeting organised by HS2 on Friday.

“Second, I believe that our case against the M18 route is building all the time. It was striking at the briefing meeting that when you probe HS2, the economic, connectivity and value for money arguments all point in one direction: to the Meadowhall route.

“I want also to put on record my thanks to local HS2 campaigners for the scrutiny they have done of HS2’s plans. In particular, they have exposed the cost arguments being made by HS2 as not adding up.

“Third, it is clear that it is not just in Doncaster but across South Yorkshire that councils and indeed MPs are becoming increasingly sceptical of the M18 route. I am spending much of my time reaching out to other MPs and organisations, working with Mayor Jones and others, to make the case. The council is putting together an economic study as part of their response to the consultation and we will encourage other councils to support and be part of it.”

Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, is due to make a decision later this year.

An HS2 spokesman said: “In response to calls from local leaders, HS2 has been commissioned to identify options for a parkway station in the region, in order to further spread the considerable benefits that HS2 brings. “At this early stage, we have identified eight locations for a potential parkway station.

“Any proposal would be subject to public consultation.”

The Government confirmed last year that it was commissioning a study into the feasibility of building a ‘Parkway Station’ along the proposed line through the Dearne.