Doncaster MP Ed Miliband calls on PM Boris Johnson to apologise to Mexborough residents over HS2 debacle

Doncaster MP Ed Miliband has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to apologise to the residents of Mexborough forced from their homes to make way for the now axed eastern leg of HS2.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 4:43 pm
Ed Miliband

Mr Miliband said people in the town and within Doncaster have been ‘put through hell’ and said the ‘government should be ashamed of the callous disregard they have shown for people’, especially those on the Shimmer estate with homes earmarked for the bulldozer.

The Doncaster North MP, who has been against the M18 route of HS2, said ministers should never have changed routes from the original plan which would’ve seen high speed trains stop at Meadowhall instead of Sheffield Midland.

As it stands, the new-build Shimmer estate is not completely safe as an email seen by the Local Democracy Service from HS2 bosses reveals the axed line through Mexborough to Leeds is being ‘safeguarded’.

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This means a route could still happen with Mr Miliband reacting furiously with the declaration and calling for the estate, which is still not finished, to be completed and to get people back into the houses.

Councillors in Mexborough have previously said rail engineers working for HS2 used ‘old maps’ to plot the revised HS2 route and ‘didn’t know’ the estate was there.

Mr Miliband said: “Since 2016, the government has put people in Mexborough and Doncaster through hell with the misery and uncertainty of the M18 route.

“As I have argued in Parliament repeatedly during that time, it was the wrong route for my constituency, for regeneration and for South Yorkshire. They should have stuck with the original HS2 Meadowhall route as so many of us also argued consistently.

“Now they have cancelled it without a word of apology for what they have inflicted on people in our area and at the same time, cancelled plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail, a clear promise made by the Prime Minister.

“So much money and effort has been wasted on causing heartache to so many people.

“The government should be ashamed of the callous disregard they have shown for people whose lives were turned upside down for nothing.

“The Shimmer estate must now be completed and people in Mexborough need to be able to get on with planning for the future.

“There should also be a personal apology from Boris Johnson for what he has inflicted on people in our area.

“I want to end by thanking all the campaigners and residents who have made their voice heard and argued for a sensible way forward, including those advocating the HS North plan. So many people have shown such patience, persistence and good sense, in contrast to the government.”

The Department for Transport has been contacted for comment.