ROTHERHAM could have a new station and an HS2 station could be built in Goldthorpe under far-reaching transport plans announced today.
A new HS2-compatible station is planned for the Dearne Valley village as a cheaper alternative to the proposed M18 Parkway stop, while and Rotherham town centre has been earmarked for a second station connecting to the Midland Mainline.
A report published by the Sheffield City Region has outlined plans to build an HS2 site in Goldthorpe called Barnsley Dearne Valley.
It would involve a "spur" line leaving Sheffield to the north and stopping at Goldthorpe before joining the high-speed line at Hemsworth, near Pontefract.
The idea has the backing of South Yorkshire metro mayor Dan Jarvis, all four South Yorkshire councils, Transport for the North (TfN) and HS2 Ltd.
The route has been criticised by many as HS2 trains leaving Sheffield Midland on the so-called "spur" will not reach top speeds compared to the main route.
The wider city region transport plan includes the creation of a new Midland Main Line station in Rotherham; an East Coast Main Line railway station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport; extension of the Tram Train, the upgrade of the Hope Valley Line to Manchester; and significant upgrades of the railway stations at both Sheffield and Chesterfield, to accommodate HS2 services.
HS2 Action Group coordinator Grant Moremont, who lives in Hooton Roberts, said: “Everyone knows this is a bad idea. Wherever the station is along the Dearne Valley means lots of devastation for many communities.
“This doesn’t benefit Yorkshire, its people or HS2 itself. The consensus which would work for everyone was having a station at Meadowhall or Victoria in Sheffield. Since it was changed to Midland, it’s clear this system does not benefit anyone.
“I think politicians are probably trying to save face after the location changed and feel like they can’t change it for a second time.”
Coun Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, said: “The SCR Integrated Rail plan will help us to deliver our Barnsley rail vision, as well as supporting connectivity across the whole of South Yorkshire. Barnsley’s aspirations are ambitious and dependent on the support of our partners to make this a reality.
“The Integrated Rail Plan states that we will continue to explore securing a station on the HS2 mainline as a long term aspiration, which when combined with the proposes station on the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, would give our residents and businesses greater access to the network.
“I’m pleased to see that the SCR Integrated Rail plan includes proposals for a new Barnsley Dearne Valley railway station, with the preferred location in Goldthorpe. This would be a great addition to the Dearne Valley area.”
Further plans for Rotherham include tram-train extensions to Magna, Doncaster, Doncaster Airport, Waverley and other residential areas such as Bassingthorpe Farm, and park and ride/station access improvements at the Kiveton stations, as well as expanding Parkgate's park and ride service.
The plans say a new mainline station in the central Rotherham area "will ensure that the area plays an important economic development role for the City Region" but the location of the town centre station is not yet set out.
Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis said: “A new station in the Dearne Valley, on the Northern Powerhouse Rail network, will offer potentially transformational regeneration opportunities for that area.
"I look forward to working with the Department for Transport to ensure that sits alongside essential investment in the surrounding road network, especially at the pinch point around Hickleton and Marr.”
This final comment will give renewed hope to campaigners in the villages of Hickleton and Marr, who are calling for a bypass sooner rather than later amid soaring vehicle numbers.
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