HS2 Ltd is proposing to change the route through South Yorkshire, to ‘M18/eastern route’, though this will be subject to decision by the Department of Transport. Instead of the previous ‘Meadowhall route’, HS2 would now race up the M18 corridor and head north, passing between Mexborough and Conisborough, east of Thurnscoe and west of South Kirby, to leave South Yorkshire near Ryhill.
The M18/eastern route offers either a dead-end spur into Sheffield or a loop via Sheffield that would connect with HS2 at both ends. Both options through Sheffield are on classic track and leave the HS2 core route London-Leeds speeding through South Yorkshire countryside east of Rotherham without a stop.
Notwithstanding costs, a HS2 station located at Sheffield Victoria or Midland would have big construction impacts and huge complexities if it was to link with classic lines, and the Meadowhall route has construction difficulties. We agree that it’s good to use existing transport corridors and warmly welcome the fact that the proposed change of route would eliminate the serious landscape impacts of the previous scheme at Chesterfield Canal, Renishaw, Smithy Wood, Blacker Hill, Dovecliffe Wood, Swaithe Wood, Lundwood and Cudworth. However, the new route crosses the Magnesian Limestone ridge around Barnburgh and Hickleton, which is a distinctive, high quality landscape, and impacts on a number of small settlements.
We have yet to come to a view on this new route (see link below) and will be scrutinising the plans.
Please get in touch with us if you have thoughts on this new route; firstname.lastname@example.org