Editor's comment: Government must explain and apologise to those impacted by axed HS2 project

After years of planning, spending and upheaval the eastern leg of the HS2 project has been axed.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 7:13 pm
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Prime Minister Boris Johnson - with West Midlands mayor Andy Street - were selling the altered rail plan this week, but there was little by the way of apology to those impacted by the axed proposals

In some of the towns and villages in our borough, the news will be met with celebration as there will no longer be a landscape and life altering construction project ploughing through their area.

But there will no doubt be plenty of anger and frustration too. And rightly so.

Years of turmoil, worry and strife have ultimately been for nothing as what was a questionable project in the first place has been consigned to history.

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There will be no ground broken, no track laid and no high speed trains hurtling through the borough.

But there has been an incredibly severe impact in those areas where the plans were set to be put in place.

The residents of the Shimmer estate in Mexborough were forced out of beautiful riverside homes they had only recently moved into. They were forced into a desperate bid to sell their homes, often having to accept well below reasonable asking prices to ensure they were not too out of pocket by the time the bulldozers were set to roll in.

Their pleas for those in government to listen, to consider the less impactful options, fell on deaf ears.

Now it is time for speaking, not listening from a government that owes a tremendous amount of people an explanation - and a huge sorry as part of it.

The Prime Minister has been pressured for a fair few apologies in recent weeks, while doing his best to dodge them at every turn.

Let us hope that he is more forthcoming with an apology to those whose lives were turned upside down by careless and heartless planning of a project that will never see the light of day.