The response below was linked to the HS2 review in September 2019.
Doncaster Council supports HS2 in principle, but not at any cost
Since the original proposals for HS2 in our region were published in 2013, much has changed. In September 2019, the Government confirmed that the projected costs have risen dramatically and could now reach £88bn, or more. At the same time, Government announced that it could take seven years longer to complete the project in the north, with a new potential end date of 2040.
Most importantly for residents and communities in our region, Sir David Higgins and Chris Grayling MP changed the route of HS2. They chose to take South Yorkshire off the main line, cancel our new HS2 station at Meadowhall and devastate communities by routing the line directly through residential areas in Doncaster, most notably demolishing a brand new housing estate in Mexborough. Instead, South Yorkshire will be served by using existing railway lines terminating at Sheffield Midland Station.
Doncaster Council is strongly opposed to the new route proposals. When compared to the Meadowhall route they result in:
- Lower economic benefits and fewer jobs than a main line station;
- Fewer trains, fewer seats and longer journey times;
- Additional pressure on the existing rail network and limited capacity for future growth;
- Unacceptable impacts on our communities and the environment;
- Inferior connectivity to other regions; and
- Make HS2 less accessible to the wider region
The Sheffield Midland spur option is not what anyone wanted. Furthermore, the project does not include the provision of northbound services to Leeds, York and the Northeast. To deliver northbound services a ‘northern loop’ needs funding to reconnect HS2 trains to the main line in the north of Doncaster, along with a range of other interventions. Government has not yet approved this project.
Far from saving money as HS2 originally claimed, when all of the necessary extra costs are included the spur route will actually cost more than the original Meadowhall route. As well as essential infrastructure costs, the new spur route will cost an additional £1.7bn to run.
Since 2017, Doncaster Council has consistently opposed the new HS2 route. It is bad for our communities, bad for our region and the wrong solution for our country.
The Mayor and Council’s position is clear. The current proposals are wholly unacceptable and must change. HS2 and the Government should go back to a Meadowhall main line station option or fundamentally re-consider the current eastern route from the West Midland to Leeds.
You can read our various consultation responses by following the links below:
- Oakervee HS2 Review Submission
- Download (832KB - PDF)
- Doncaster Council's HS2 Working Draft Environmental Statement (WDES) consultation response
- Download (1.21MB - PDF)
- HS2 Route Refinement 080317 letter
- Download (172KB)
- DMBC Route Refinement 2016 Response 8Mar17 FINAL
- Download (1.67MB)
- DMBC Property Consultation 2016 Response 8Mar17 FINAL
- Download (473KB)