Rail minister Paul Maynard replied with a straight ‘yes’ when asked directly if the route will come through South Yorkshire, despite the Prime Minister announcing there would be a further review into the Phase 2B Eastern Leg.
Mexborough’s Shimmer estates will see dozens of homes bulldozed as part of HS2. The Doncaster town is affected by more demolitions than anywhere else in the country.
The minister was asked to apologise on behalf of HS2 to the residents of thw Shimmer estate and said HS2 ‘needed to improve’ how it communicates with residents affected.
The project itself is well over budget and is expected to come in at over £100bn following estimates of £32bn in 2014.
Mr Maynard said: “We are fully committed to the route with HS2 going to Leeds and indeed to Sheffield.
“What our integrated rail plan is going to look at is how we seek investments across the north as a whole and make sure we deliver the services as quickly as possible so people see the benefits.
“The Prime Minister has been very clear that HS2 is committed and needs to improve how it liaises with residents and those affected by construction more widely so HS2 Ltd needs to improve its communication and its approach to people affected.
“This review now is looking at what’s already planned, working out how it can be sequenced so we can deliver the benefits as soon as possible.
“I’ll be working with metro mayors across the north and I’ve already spoken to Dan Jarvis (Sheffield City Region mayor) on this recently to understand where the hotspots are, where the unresolved issues are to make sure we deliver the optimum plans to improve connectivity.”
Mexborough First councillor Andy Pickering said HS2 would bring nothing but ‘destruction’ to Doncaster.
And Doncaster’s directly-elected mayor Ros Jones said she was ‘pleased and concerned’ about the announcement that HS2 would be built and called on the government to provide clarity for residents living on the Shimmer Estate.