Mexborough councillor “delighted” that HS2 will be scrapped in the north

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A councillor for the town of Mexborough has praised the government’s decision to scrap plans for high-speed rail in the north.

Councillor Sean Gibbons, who represents local party Mexborough First, said he was “absolutely delighted” that plans for a northern branch of the HS2 rail line to Manchester have been scrapped.

HS2 had been mapped to pass through Mexborough on the eastern leg of the route, which was also scrapped in 2021.

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In 2016, the government purchased £150million worth of homes on the route to evict residents ahead of construction.

Councillors Sean Gibbons and Andy Pickering.Councillors Sean Gibbons and Andy Pickering.
Councillors Sean Gibbons and Andy Pickering.

Purchases included the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough, which had only reached completion four years prior.

Almost all residents on the estate were forced to sell their homes to HS2 and relocate, to discover five years later that the eastern leg had been scrapped and demolition would not take place.

Now it has been revealed that HS2 will not pass through the north whatsoever, and will be replaced by a series of local improvements under a scheme known as “Network North”.

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Mexborough First Councillor Sean Gibbons said: “I’m absolutely delighted to hear the Prime Minister’s decision to scrap the West Midlands leg to Manchester.

“It has devastated Mexborough for so many years, the blight over our town and surrounding areas is completely unacceptable.

“Mexborough First councillors have been fighting this since July 2016 and we are appalled at the way HS2 personnel have come to Mexborough and surrounding areas and basically lied.

“It’s incompetence, they’ve not treated the residents as they should’ve done and this really is something which will go on for many years and we won’t stop fighting until every single resident affected by HS2 is properly compensated.

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“There has been immense avoidable distress of Mexborough and surrounding areas since the route was changed back in July 2016.

“The unrest on the Shimmer Estate and surrounding areas, the poor residents who have lost money, thousands and thousands of pounds, need compensating by HS2. This should have been avoided and decisions should have been made many years ago.”

The new Network North scheme will include improvements such as the restoration of the Don Valley railway line between Sheffield and Stocksbridge.

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