15 March 2016
Today’s National Infrastructure Commission Report throws further weight behind the Sheffield city centre HS2 case and calls for options around station location to be reviewed taking account of HS3.
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council has welcomed the report and has called for the siting of the HS2 station in Sheffield City Region to be reviewed to assess the best option for city centre to city centre connectivity.
The report argues the importance of HS3 as fundamental to delivering city centre to city centre connectivity and that this should be integrated with the wider HS2 network to enable 30 minute city centre to city centre connectivity between Leeds and Sheffield. Importantly the report calls on consideration to be given to the wider HS3 network, which includes connections to Manchester, where a Sheffield city centre station would also be crucial to delivering 30 minute city centre to city centre connectivity.
Speaking about HS2 the report states that:
“To maximise the benefits for the North, it will be important to ensure that design is integrated with the wider strategy for the transport network in the North, as it will have material consequences for the delivery of TfN’s aspirational journey times between the northern cities and to onward destinations…
“Each of these options [Sheffield City Centre and Meadowhall] should be explored to identify how a journey time as close as possible to the 30–minute aim between Leeds and Sheffield city centres could be delivered, how the most effective proposal can be achieved most efficiently and how it can best be integrated with planning for the wider HS3 network.”
This builds on the Transport for the North report launched last week which also set out the conditional output of 30 minute city centre to city centre connectivity between Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester. The moving of Leeds’ HS2 station to the city centre was also welcomed by Transport for the North, giving further backing to the case that a Sheffield city centre HS2 station is needed to deliver the northern transport strategy.
The call for a review of Sheffield’s station location is overwhelmingly supported by the businesses of Sheffield.
Councillor Dore said: “This report puts forward a lot of the points we have been arguing for a long time. The 30 minute city centre to city centre connectivity for Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester, will be transformational to our economy, delivering the crucial links we need between our major cities. This report sets out how we can make this a reality but a Sheffield city centre HS2 station is essential to deliver it, the Commission fully supports city centre to city centre connectivity which is exactly what we have been asking for.
“The Leeds HS2 station location has been reviewed to take account of HS3 and connecting our city centres, that’s exactly what we need for Sheffield as well. Not only is there an overwhelming economic case for a HS2 city centre station in its own right, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that it is also essential for delivering HS3 to link Sheffield city centre with cities across the north of England.”
Notes for editors:
Please see recommendation 5 from the National Infrastructure Commission:
Recommendation five: The design of the northern phase of HS2 should be taken forward by HS2 Ltd, working closely with TfN, to ensure that this is planned and delivered so as to facilitate the development of the HS3 network, enhancing connectivity between Leeds and Sheffield, between Liverpool and Manchester (and its airport), and between Sheffield and Newcastle, as well as to onward destinations.