"HS2 will destroy our village"

By Antony Clay | 04/08/2017

'HS2 will destroy our village'
Residents from Aston stand on the site where the HS2 train line will cut through their village. 171338-1

ALL the pain and no gain - that’s the view of residents in Aston after transport bosses gave the green light for a high speed railway line to plough through their village.

Members of the Aston Against HS2 campaign group said their neighbourhood would be ruined if the controversial project goes ahead.

The route, which was backed by the Department for Transport last month, will cut through the Netherthorpe end of Aston - near the A57 Worksop Road - destroying homes, horse riding stables and wildlife-filled countryside - before heading off towards Bramley, Mexborough and the Dearne Valley.

But protesters in Aston said their community would have to take all the pain without any gain as the HS2 route will not benefit South Yorkshire.

Jenny Shimwell, one of the group’s co-ordinators, said some homeowners had already sold their properties to HS2.

They claimed the building of the rail route would cause major disruption on the A57 and Worksop Road, isolate Aston Fire Station, and force businesses away.

Mrs Shimwell said: “Can you imagine what this community is going to look like with derelict houses all over the place?

“I can see people thinking you have got to break a few eggs but what is Rotherham going to do when they lose businesses because they cannot access the A57 because of HS2?

“My view is that you have got to look at the big picture. The community as a whole is the big picture. It’s not just about the houses, it’s the businesses, the countryside, motorway access.

“There is no compelling reason for them to destroy a region.”

Mrs Shimwell called for a judicial review of the HS2 project, claiming a lack of public consultation by bosses.

Cllr Robert Taylor, a member of Aston Parish Council, said there will be insufficient passengers to justify the multi-billion spend on HS2, particularly since South Yorkshire won’t get a station actually on the high speed line.

Brian Mears, chairman of the Aston history group, said: “We are not against change, but we have to see some benefit.”

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