New High Speed 2 proposals and Bramley

hs2 bramley

On July 7th, HS2 Ltd announced a potential new route for High Speed 2. The new proposal would mean that the line between Birmingham and Leeds would no longer include a station at Meadowhall, as had been previously intended. Instead the main HS2 route is now proposed to travel from Birmingham to an East Midlands Parkway station at Toton, then proceed directly to central Leeds. Rather than a Meadowhall station, HS2 are now proposing a “spur” from the mainline before Chesterfield, then running into the existing Sheffield Midland station. So-called “classic convertable” trains would run between Sheffield and London every 30 minutes using the spur and the HS2 line.

Why does this matter to our area? Because the new route is proposed to follow the M1 and M18, bringing it past Bramley and M18 junction 1. The route seems to follow behind Bannatyne’s gym, the Ibis etc next to Morrisons, crossing into our ward under Bawtry Road, then proceeding roughly where the allotments are next to the motorway, going on to cross Lidget Lane and then Common Lane. The image above is taken from a map on the HS2 website and shows the new alignment of the route. You can click on the image above for a bigger version, or find the original map by clicking here (PDF, 10.4MB). You may also find this indicative map useful (PDF, 18.6MB)

Why have HS2 announced this intended change? You can read their full report by clicking here, but there are two basic reasons: firstly this route is expected to be more than a billion pounds cheaper than the Meadowhall option (and nearly two billion pounds cheaper than a route into Sheffield Victoria), and secondly because there was no consesnsus between Sheffield and the other South Yorkshire councils about where the route should be. Barnsley and Doncaster councils had been in agreement with Rotherham that Meadowhall was the best option for jobs and connectivity in our part of South Yorkshire.

What might be the benefits of the current proposals? It is hugely disappointing that HS2 have abandoned their previous plans for a route via Meadowhall. For the wider area, it seems that there may still be possible benefits from trains running on from Sheffield into Rotherham, potentially providing a Rotherham Central to London link, or even the possibility of a “parkway” station on the main HS2 line somewhere within the Rotherham or Barnsley boroughs. These are just suggestions at this stage which will need to be explored. Economic modelling suggests it is likely that the development of a new station, and the resulting connectivity to major centres of population, will be a strong way to create new jobs.

How can we find out more? HS2 are holding an information day in Bramley on Friday 22nd July between 12:30pm and 8pm, at Bramley Parish Hall on Main Street. If you can’t make it, there are similar events taking place in Mexborough on Monday 19th and Aston on Tuesday 26th July (click here for a full list). Until these sessions have taken place, there is very little other local information available and we would urge anyone with questions to attend.

When might something actually happen? Current estimates suggest building work on the “eastern leg” could commence in 2022 (ie. six years from now), with the line potentially taking passengers from around 2033.

What is the government saying? The Minister has issued a statement that you can find by clicking here. Perhaps the most important paragraph is towards the end, in which he says; “Before I reach a decision about HS2 in South Yorkshire I will want to consider today’s report in detail. It is my intention to make an announcement on the HS2 Phase Two route, of which South Yorkshire is a part, later this year. Should I decide to adopt the report’s recommendations as my preferred option in South Yorkshire I will then hold a public consultation in order to allow local stakeholders and affected communities the opportunity to comment on the proposal, alongside a consultation on the property compensation and assistance schemes for the entire route.”

What is the “exceptional hardship scheme” that the Minister mentions? You can find out more by clicking here. However, we should say that we have so far received no direct information about this.

What is our MP doing? John Healey has already announced that he is seeking urgent meetings with the new Secretary of State for Transport and with HS2 Ltd to discuss the new proposals.

Update:

We have been contacted by a number of residents with specific questions about their homes, or buying or selling a home in Bramley, seeking information from HS2. Whilst we are always happy to speak to residents, many of these questions are only answerable by HS2 Ltd themselves. You can contact them directly using the details below:

High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, 2 Snowhill, Queensway
Birmingham
B4 6GA

Email HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk

Telephone 020 7944 4908

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