Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones: 'Meadowhall is still the right place for HS2 station in South Yorkshire'
Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has said she ‘maintains the stance’ that South Yorkshire’s HS2 station should be at Meadowhall.
Mayor Jones told the Doncaster Free Press she has asked South Yorkshire metro mayor Dan Jarvis to ‘take the issue back to Government’ to look at all the possible alternatives to the current scheme.
At present, HS2 will come into Sheffield Midland station on a so-called ‘spur’ reducing speed from Chesterfield into the city, critics say.
Campaigners also argue that there is no funding for a connection back out of Sheffield to rejoin the HS2 near Thurnscoe in Barnsley.
Doncaster looks to be getting a raw deal as dozens of properties are earmarked for demolition - the majority of these will take place in Mexborough.
Mayor Jones was asked about an alternative scheme presented by campaigners and former rail engineers in South Yorkshire which would result in a HS2 station at Sheffield Victoria, high speed links to Leeds and Manchester while saving the threat of demolitions in Mexborough.
The group, who call themselves the Combined Campaign Group Yorkshire and NE Derbyshire say their scheme would be £9bn cheaper.
“It should not be High Speed 2 at any cost but we know if it’s done correctly, it can benefit all,” she said.
“I maintain the stance that Meadowhall is the right place. At the moment in time, this scheme is not high speed rail.”
Reacting to the alternative high speed plan, Mayor Jones added: “In truth, I’m not a rail engineer and that’s why we asked Dan Jarvis to take it back to HS2 and government to look at all the options - they looked at several before and discarded them.
“Mayor Jarvis has had informal meetings but we would look at an informal meeting to go off asking them to look again at all the other connections.
“We’re in a state of flux at the moment, no one knows what is going to happen or if there is going to be any change with possibly a new Secretary of State for Transport along with the new Prime Minister in July.”
Mayor Jones added that the new Azuma trains along the East Coast Mainline will soon provide a high speed link from Doncaster to London.
It’s understood a timetable change next year will result in Azuma trains travelling to the capital in just one hour and 17 minutes.