COUNCIL chiefs have denied having second thoughts over plans for HS2 amid claims building a high speed rail station in the centre of Sheffield will be an engineering nightmare.
A source told the Advertiser the huge expected costs of adapting Sheffield Midland station and the surrounding area were causing a rethink within Sheffield Council.
But the authority denied this, saying it was too early to know how the plan would turn out.
A spokesman said the council was standing by the so-called M18 route - with a spur line to Sheffield - as the best rather than the previously proposed route through Meadowhall.
Critics of the chosen route - cutting through Rotherham from Aston to Mexborough- believe Meadowhall would be a better option as the station would actually be on the mainline itself.
And a well-placed source claimed Sheffield Council had underestimated the amount of work necessary to make Midland HS2-friendly.
He said Midland would not offer space for HS2 trains to turn around and so will require extensive redevelopment, with streets and buildings around the station also needing significant changes, which would cause years of disruption.
It is also suggested that up to 13 bridges between Sheffield and the proposed spur line’s rejoining of the main HS2 link north of the city would need rebuilding because they are too low for HS2 trains.
Chris Matthewman, chairman of Bramley Against HS2, said he too had heard that there were concerns about Midland.
He said: “I would definitely say that’s the case. I can believe the council leaders are scratching their heads and wondering how it’s going to work.”
The Sheffield Council spokesman said: “The council is working with the Department for Transport, Transport for the North, HS2 and Network Rail to understand what the requirements of HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and local growth will mean for the station.
“This is a long-term piece of work and it is too early to draw conclusions about what changes will be needed.”
A HS2 spokesman said Sheffield station - also known as Midland - was the only option being considered.
He added: “HS2 will deliver major benefits to the Yorkshire region.
“It is becoming integral to local plans to drive business growth, create jobs and secure investment years before it arrives.
“HS2 trains will serve South Yorkshire at Sheffield Midland station. This remains the best way to serve the region.”
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