A new train station could be built in South Yorkshire along the route of the planned high speed rail link.
The Government is to commission a study into the feasibility of building a ‘Parkway Station’ along the proposed HS2 line, which runs close to the M18 motorway and will cut through towns in the Dearne Valley between Doncaster and Rotherham. Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey received confirmation of the study in a letter from transport secretary Chris Grayling. Mr Healey said a previous plan would have seen the line “running right through but not stopping in South Yorkshire” but he welcomed this latest move that could see Dearne Valley residents benefiting from their own HS2 railway station.
He said he was determined to “make sure an HS2 station in Rotherham or the Dearne is part of the plan.”
An original route would have seen the line go between Rotherham and Sheffield with a new station being built at Meadowhall. But these plans were scrapped earlier this year in favour of the new route between Rotherham and Doncaster with trains instead stopping in Sheffield city centre.
The Government said the change of plan could save £1 billion but the revised route has also caused outrage among some residents as it will cut through a new housing estate in Mexborough.
People living on the Shimmer Estate have received letters explaining that their homes could be demolished to make way for the new route.
Doncaster Council recently passed a unanimous motion opposing the new HS2 route.
Mr Healey also backed residents in their protests and he, along with Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband, are due to meet with Mr Grayling next month to outline their concerns.
However Mr Healey accepted that “If ministers are going to consider this new route” he was determined to ensure a new railway station is situated along the line.
In a letter to the Labour MP, Mr Grayling confirmed that his officials are set to commission the study “in the coming weeks” and its findings are expected to be completed in spring 2017.
The Government says HS2 will cut Sheffield to London journey times from two hours to 1 hour 19 minutes.
It is estimated to cost around £42.6 billion but project leaders say it will help to bridge the ‘north-south divide’ and create up to 14, 600 jobs and apprenticeships. Some of the apprentices will be trained at the new National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster.
Work is not expected to begin on the HS2 line until at least 2020. A public consultation is ongoing and a decision on the whole scheme is due in the coming months.
A public meeting on the plans locally is being held at Mexborough Academy on Thursday, September 29, at 7.30pm.