ANXIOUS residents will find out today if the controversial HS2 rail link will run past their doorsteps as planned.
A formal decision on the route of the London to Leeds route is due to be announced this afternoon.
The current preferred option of the Government is a route through Aston, Bramley, Mexborough and the Dearne Valley, with the earlier proposed route through Meadowhall on the back burner.
Campaigners have called for the original route to be backed, with residents on Mexborough’s Shimmer estate protesting that the so-called “M18 route” will go through their homes or pass within yards.
MP John Healey recently made a last-ditch attempt to persuade the Government to back the Meadowhall route.
In a letter to transport secretary Chris Grayling, Mr Healey said the Meadowhall route would mean faster journey times, more capacity, less disruption to local communities, better connections with Rotherham and Barnsley and better prospects for regeneration and jobs.
He added: “HS2 can bring benefits to our region, and we want a route that achieves and maximises this - helping close the north-south divide, connect communities and reduce inequalities.
“The M18 route has limited ambitions for South Yorkshire and does not have support from residents and authorities.
“With no confirmed station stop on the route, our region would get the worst of all worlds — the disturbance of HS2 running right through but not even stopping in South Yorkshire.
“I urge you to return to the original route and the one which will most benefit South Yorkshire - Meadowhall.”
Mr Grayling said this morning: “HS2 will deliver vital links between some of our country's biggest cities, helping to drive economic growth and productivity in the North and Midlands.
“As well as providing desperately needed new seats and better connecting our major cities, HS2 will help rebalance our economy.”
He said people with homes and business affected by the rail route would receive “appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect”.
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