'PM must look at plan to switch HS2 route' says Doncaster MP as construction starts

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being urged to switch the route of HS2 – as ministers announced the start of construction of the high speed rail route which will involve demolishing homes in Doncaster.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 1:35 pm

HS2 Ltd today announced the formal start of construction of phase one of the project, highlighting the number of jobs the project will be recruiting for in the coming months and years. Phase 2b is due to go through Doncaster.

But Doncaster leaders are concerned about the impact of a railway which does not stop in the town and will involve demolition of dozens of homes in the borough.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “HS2 is at the heart of our plans to build back better – and with construction now formally underway, it’s set to create around 22,000 new jobs.

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An artists impression of the planned HS2 route

“As the spine of our country’s transport network, the project will be vital in boosting connectivity between our towns and cities.

“But HS2’s transformational potential goes even further. By creating hundreds of apprenticeships and thousands of skilled jobs, HS2 will fire up economic growth and help to rebalance opportunity across this country for years to come.”

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband, whose constituency includes Mexborough, where houses are to be demolished, said: “I continue to believe that the M18 route is wrong for my constituents and wrong for our region. The original HS2 vision was to serve and regenerate our towns, but towns in South Yorkshire are facing all of the pain and none, or very little, of the gain.

“In February this year, I asked the Prime Minister about the prospects for change in relation to the eastern leg of phase 2b. He promised me that the government would look at the proposals of campaigners, an integrated plan to help towns such as Doncaster and Mexborough. He said the Government, ‘are certainly looking at the plan’.

The HS2 consultation event at Mexborugh Pastures Hotel

“The government must make good on that promise. On grounds of regeneration, value for money and quality of life, all the evidence says they should change course."

Mexborough Coun Sean Gibbons added residents would not give up fighting to change a route that was ‘no good for Mexborough, Doncaster or South Yorkshire’.