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Barnsley MPs urge Government to end HS2 uncertainty

Michael Dugher is calling on the Government to end the uncertainty faced by residents and businesses in Barnsley over the proposed HS2 high-speed rail link.

The Barnsley East MP has written to HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to outline his support for the project and the boost it will give to the local economy.

But he said the Government must now formally withdraw a proposed “Meadowhall route” which would cut through a large part of the borough of Barnsley.

In a joint letter from Mr Dugher and Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis to Mr Thurston, the two MPs write:

“We remain committed to HS2 infrastructure improvements and believe that high speed rail improvements will make a significant impact on the region’s economy and future prospects for growth. 

“You will be aware of the difficulties in seeking to achieve a consensus across the region on station location and approach to HS2.  We are currently formulating our response to the Government’s consultation on the new proposed route and this is an area where we require your ongoing support.

“It is increasingly evident that the Meadowhall option proposed in 2013 is not realistic and is not a location we would support.  There must be no backtracking from the Government on the route.

“The ‘Meadowhall route’ cut through a large part of the Borough and many residents and businesses within Barnsley have endured four years of unwelcome uncertainty. 

“It is time to take away the blight of uncertainty on our communities by formally withdrawing the Meadowhall option and focus on the opportunities and challenges of the new route, including promoting a meaningful and sensitive package of mitigation measures for those communities affected by the new route.”

The two MPs also say that they support proposals for a new parkway station along the new eastern leg route for all the main HS2 services which – combined with improvements to the Dearne Valley line – would make a “huge difference to the area and would offer real benefits to the City Region”.

 

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