Bosses of the High Speed Rail 2 project have announced a new route through South Yorkshire that will see Meadowhall station scrapped in favour of Sheffield city centre.
The new route will run east towards the M18 before it re-joins the original route south of the M62, meanwhile high speed trains will use the existing track access to Sheffield and will stop at the city’s Midland station.
HS2 Ltd’s David Higgins believed that the change will save over £1 billion and result in journey times to London of around one hour and 20 minutes.
The new route which has been proposed would see up to trains leave every hour from the HS2 line near to Clay Cross, in Derbyshire, and join the existing line into Sheffield before re-joining the HS2 line to the east of Grimethorpe.
Higgins said that one of the most difficult challenges of the HS2 scheme was the location of the station in South Yorkshire because of the region’s flood plains and topography.
When plans were announced to build at Meadowhall in 2013, they were met with fierce criticism, while Sheffield City Council said that a station in the city centre would create more than 6,000 jobs while increasing usage and generating up to £5 billion more for the local economy.
However, HS2 has now said that the Meadowhall site would not reduce journey times between the cities of the north, which was one of the targets of the Northern Powerhouse Rail project, and could cause road congestion issues.
When asked whether they could have foreseen these issues, Mr Higgins responded by saying: “I don’t think so. I’m not sure everyone in the whole of South Yorkshire would have accepted the spur line.
“We had to work through the options and solutions in order to reach this decision and the more and more work we did the more complex Meadowhall became.”