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  1. Updates on Thursday 7 July 2016
  2. HS2 route changes revealed

Live Reporting

By Kate Linderholm

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye: Our live coverage across the day

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

That's the end of our live coverage as South Yorkshire responded to the HS2 route change announcement today.

Route changes

Here's a quick rundown of the key facts about the proposed new route:

  • It won't now stop at Meadowhall station
  • It's been shifted east through the Dearne Valley
  • There'll be a new station at Thurnscoe
  • Some HS2 trains will divert off the track to go to Sheffield and Chesterfield
  • HS2 Ltd says the new route saves £1bn
  • A new housing estate in Mexborough will have to demolished to build the line; the developer was only told yesterday afternoon
  • South Yorkshire MPs have demanded a meeting with the Transport Secretary over the plans
  • Trains won't be running on the route until 2033 at the earliest

We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with more live updates from across South Yorkshire.

HS2: What the key players are saying about the changed route

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

There have been winners and losers in today's announcement by HS2 that they want to shift the route of the rail line through South Yorkshire 40 miles to the east.

Changes to route

People living on the Shimmer estate in Mexborough have been told that "some or all of their land" may be required if the plans are approved.

Resident Amie Webster told the BBC the "bottom has fallen out of our world".

Shimmer estate

Housing developer Strata said it was "shocked" by the news:

We are working closely with representatives to understand proposals so that we can be clear on what this may mean for our existing and future home owners."

Chief executive Andrew Weave
David Higgins

David Higgins, of HS2 Ltd, said he understood the change of route would add to the uncertainty of those living on the original route and bring new fear to those on the newly proposed route.  

"It's important that we give them certainty as soon as possible. If we can lift the blight from those communities then the quicker the better."

David Higgins HS2 Chief Executive

Elected mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said she will fight to ensure the town does not lose out as a result of the decision:

View more on twitter

HS2: Barnsley council leader welcomes announcement

Barnsley council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “We welcome the announcement of the new HS2 rail plans for the Sheffield City Region.  

View more on twitter

HS2: MP John Healey concerned about route changes

HS2: Building predicted to bring jobs bonanza

HS2: Hoyland butcher delighted his business gets a reprieve

Tom Ingall

Journalist, BBC Look North

Not everyone's dismayed by today's announcement.

In 2013 the BBC broke the news to Brian, a butcher in Hoyland, that his business was going to be demolished by HS2. Today we told him it was going to be reprieved.

Brian the butcher

He's very pleased the line has moved as he feels he can now develop the business but he also feels very sorry for people who are on the new route.

HS2: Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron 'shocked and worried" at route changes

The Labour MP for the Rother Valley Sir Kevin Barron has released a statement this afternoon. It's rare he comments on events these days, making his remarks more significant.

Sir Kevin Barron
House of Commons

I supported the HS2 project and fully support the need for national investment. However, I am shocked and worried by these last minute route changes. I will be working with HS2 Ltd to ensure that my constituents are given all the information available. HS2 have said that they are going to hold local information events which I hope to attend.”

Sir Kevin Barron

HS2: Tom Ingall's Facebook Q&A now up and running

Tom Ingall's started his Facebook Live Q&A session if you have any queries about today's announcement.

HS2: Your views on plans to bulldoze Mexborough Estate

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

In the meantime you've been sending us your responses to the news that residents on the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough learned today their homes could go under compulsory purchase order as a result of the changed route.

Shimmer esate

This is disgusting, why do they always disrupt peoples lives without a second thought?"

Linda Green

It's outrageous. Just proves this government has lost the plot."

Angie Caukwell

No option. They will be served with compulsory purchase orders. People proclaim their rights but they are not rights if they are taken away by higher authorities. We do not have rights, we sometimes have 'privileges' that can be removed any time the authorities deem it necessary."

Martin Fenwick

HS2: Facebook Live Q&A... on the way!

Our very own Tom Ingall's having a few technical hitches setting up his Facebook Live session but is still hoping to be with you soon. We'll update you when he's up and running!

HS2: Next Prime Minister could lead to line being scrapped

HS2: Facebook Live Q&A with Look North's Tom Ingall

If you've got any questions about today's announcement of a proposed new route for HS2 BBC reporter Tom Ingall will be hosting a live session on the BBC Look North Facebook page from 16:30.

Tom will be speaking from the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough where residents have been told today that their new homes may have to be demolished to make way for the railway line.

Tom Ingall interviewing resident in Mexborough

But he can answer anything HS2-related, whether you're interested in the implications for Sheffield, Chesterfield or further afield.  

HS2: Change of route could benefit Thurnscoe

One place which could benefit from the high speed rail line is the Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire. 

Main road through Thurnscoe
Richard Spencer Geograph

Today's report suggests a new station on the realigned route may be built near the former mining village of Thurnscoe.    

HS2: Changed route shock for resident who only just moved to doomed estate

HS2: 'It's upsetting' says Strata Homes boss on plans to demolish new estate

Kevin Larkin

Doncaster Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

Andrew Weaver, the CEO of Strata Homes, has been telling me how upsetting it's been to see the anxiety of their customers on the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough about news that their homes may have to be demolished to build the new HS2 route.

HS2: Residents distraught at losing homes for route through Mexborough

A new housing estate in Mexborough could be bulldozed if changes to the planned high-speed rail route HS2 go ahead.  

Michelle Bunting lives there.

HS2: More reaction from estate to be demolished for new route

Kevin Larkin

Doncaster Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

HS2: Doncaster Mayor wants reassurance over changed route

Changes to the HS2 route through South Yorkshire have come as a suprise to some local politicians. Now Doncaster Mayor, Ros Jones, wants some clear answers

Doncaster Mayor on HS2 changes

HS2: Date set for Mexborough information event

HS2 are holding a series of engagement events in South Yorkshire, to talk about a change to the proposed route. 

The new proposals would see the HS2 mainline move from its previously consulted route to around 40 miles further east.

HS2 train

The Mexborough meeting has now been set:

  • Tuesday 19 July 2016
  • 12:00 - 19:00
  • Mexborough Resource CentreDolcliffe RoadMexboroughSouth YorkshireS64 9AZ  

HSE: Re-routing through South Yorkshire

Tom Ingall

Journalist, BBC Look North

Watch my round-up of reactions to the news that the High Speed Rail route through South Yorkshire will be changed:

What Leeds says

Tom Ingall

Journalist, BBC Look North

I've spoken to Leeds City Council and here's their thoughts on today's announcements.

Leeds statement

Possible HS2 rail stop for Chesterfield welcomed

Revised plans for the HS2 rail link which could mean two high-speed trains an hour stopping in Chesterfield have been welcomed by town leaders.

HS2 promotional image

Chesterfield Borough Council leader Councillor John Burrows says the recommendation by HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins to change the original route to include a link via the Midland Mainline that could stop in Chesterfield is great news for the town’s economic future.

Peter Swallow, chair of Destination Chesterfield, the town’s marketing campaign, has also welcomed the news as it would deliver 79-minute train journeys to London and shorter journey times to Leeds and other towns and cities in the north and Midlands.

HS2: Anguish of residents with houses on new route through Mexborough

The people behind the HS2 railway line, say they've changed their minds about where in South Yorkshire it should be.

It will now go through a housing estate in Mexborough which may be knocked down even though it hasn't yet been completed. Amy who lives there called BBC Radio Sheffield today:

HS2: Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones' shock at new HS2 route

Following today’s surprise HS2 announcement, Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones has vowed to support local people affected by the new route proposals and fight to ensure that Doncaster does not lose out.

Ros Jones
Ros Jones

I support the national HS2 project and recognise its importance to our country. However, I am shocked and surprised by these significant last minute changes. They have never been suggested during the last four years so it is extremely disappointing that local people and our communities are being put in this position at the eleventh hour. I understand the financial challenges facing the project, but saving money must not be achieved at the expense of people living in Doncaster, South Yorkshire and the wider Sheffield City Region.

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones

HS2: Cost 'not the reason for change'

The man who has changed the route of HS2 through South Yorkshire, Sir David Higgings the Executive Chairman of the project insists that the saving of £1bn was not the reason for alteration.

The proposed changes will save money - but that's not the only reason to make them

HS2: What we know so far

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

Plans have been unveiled today to re-route the HS2 rail line through Yorkshire. 

Route map

Key changes:

  • The  path will now head between Doncaster and Rotherham rather than around Meadowhall
  • The new route will save £1bn and and result in journey times to London from Sheffield of 79 minutes
  • The latest proposals would move the line through a brand new housing estate in Mexborough which would have to be demolished

HS2: Dismay from residents in Mexborough on estate due to be bulldozed

Kevin Larkin

Doncaster Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

The latest proposals would move the line for HS2 through a brand new housing estate which would have to be demolished.

Chelsea Turner lives on the Shimmer estate in Mexborough - she can't understand the decision

Chelsea Turner from the Shimmer estate in Mexborough

HS2: Statement from developer behind Mexborough's Shimmer estate

It was only yesterday that the Strata team met with advisors from the Department of Transport and representatives for HS2 and discovered the housing estate they are still constructing in Mexborough may be bulldozed to make way for the new HS2 route.

Building work on Shimmer estate

We are shocked by this news. We have been working on site at Shimmer for a number of years and are immensely proud of the homes that we have built and the community which we have helped to create. As you can imagine, we are still trying to digest this information and there are still a number of questions that we are waiting to be answered. However, we are working closely with representatives to understand proposals so that we can be clear on what this may mean for our existing and future home owners."

Andrew WeaverStrata Chief Executive

HS2: Call for quick determination by government for new route

The Executive Chairman of HS2, Sir David Higgins, explains why high speed rail has changed course in South Yorkshire:

HS2: Building work continues on doomed housing estate in Mexborough

Kevin Larkin

Doncaster Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

It's still not finished being built but today it was announced the Shimmer housing estate at Mexborough will be demolished to make way for the new HS2 route through South Yorkshire.

View more on twitter

HS2: Mixed views from people in Mexborough

The proposal to site an HS2 station somewhere near Thurnscoe has been welcomed by Danny Ward from the Mexborough business forum:

Surely it's going to bring more people so hopefully that's positive."

But residents on the Shimmer estate at Mexborough which will be knocked down were shocked to hear the plans this morning:

View more on twitter

HS2: South Yorkshire MPs demand meeting with Transport Secretary over new plans

South Yorkshire MPs are demanding a meeting with the Transport Secretary Patrick Mcloughlin after it was revealed that a planned HS2 stop at Meadowhall has been dropped.

View of Sheffield

The high speed line will now run through South Yorkshire, veering off onto existing track to stop in Sheffield city centre.

The initial proposal for an HS2 stop at Meadowhall has now been shelved, partly to reduce costs.

In response to the changes Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband have joined with other MPs in the region to demand an explanation and make the case for another South Yorkshire station on the HS2 line.

Big transport funding has heavily favoured London for years, so I’ve been ready to back any economic investment that shifts the balance more to the north. But I am dismayed to see these surprise new plans to drop Meadowhall as South Yorkshire’s HS2 stop. The number one purpose of this change is clearly to cut costs, and I fear the so-called ‘spur line’ into Sheffield is simply a sop to the city. We can’t have the new High Speed line to Leeds running right through South Yorkshire but not stopping in South Yorkshire."

MP John Healey

HS2: New route through South Yorkshire will cut costs

Tom Ingall

Journalist, BBC Look North

It starts with a map but ends with numbers.

HS2 route map

The new report will come as a shock to some people. 

Previously they had been nowhere near the route of HS2 but now they are underneath a proposal for a line to the east of Rotherham. 

HS2 admits it will have an impact on housing developments. However, they also say this route will be £1bn cheaper and make journeys to the north faster.

HS2 Datapic

The Secretary of State for Transport makes the final decision on this, but it’s looking more likely that Sheffield will get its campaigned for city centre station and there could be a parkway station in the Dearne Valley too.  

HS2: How we got here

Kate Linderholm

BBC Local Live, Sheffield

In January 2012 the Secretary of State for Transport announced that HS2 would go ahead. It would comprise a "Y-shaped" network with stations at London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and the East Midlands conveying up to 26,000 people each hour at speeds of up to 400 kilometres per hour (250 mph).  

Land on proposed route

The government argued that Britain's rail network was reaching capacity, and infrastructure owner Network Rail said the southern section of the West Coast Main Line - currently the quickest rail route between London and Birmingham - will be "effectively full" by 2024.

But from the outset there were concerns about the cost.

HS2 train

HS2 - the proposed high-speed rail link - was supposed to help bridge the North-South divide. 

But the debate surrounding the controversial project opened up a divide between councils in the north, which welcomed the scheme, and those further south which did not.  

Overhead view of Sheffield

Plans to site the station for HS2 at Meadowhall divided Sheffield's politicians

Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, said building a station outside the city centre was the right option.  

But Paul Blomfield, the Labour MP for Sheffield Central, said the station should be built in the city centre.

HS2 promotional picture

Last year a key report cast doubt on the economic case for HS2. 

The Lords report echoed a similar report published by the Commons Public Accounts Committee in January.

The MPs said that ministers lacked a "clear strategic plan for the rail network" and were "sceptical" about whether HS2 would deliver value for money.

Train on track
Getty Images

Last week it started to emerge that the route was about to be changed.

Today that was confirmed by HS2.

Data picture

HS2: What we know so far

There's been a change of plan about the HS2 railway line with a whole new route for South Yorkshire

HS2 promotional picture

Key facts on the new route:

  • Meadowhall station scrapped
  • Now going further east through Dearne Valley
  • Some HS2 trains will divert off new track to Chesterfield and Sheffield stations
  • New route saves £1bn if supported by Department for Transport
  • Campaigners opposed to the project are claiming there will be more cuts to come
  • The Shimmer estate in Mexborough could be bulldozed to create the new route
  • The first trains will not run till 2033 at the earliest

HS2: Letters sent to residents on doomed estate

Kat Cowan

Reporter, BBC Radio Sheffield

People in Mexborough have been waking up to letters from HS2 this morning. The proposed new route will mean houses on the Shimmer estate could be knocked down. 

This is another letter received by residents on the Shimmer estate today.

HS2 letter

HS2: Your views on the new route through South Yorkshire

The proposal to change of route for HS2 through South Yorkshire is dividing opinion with many people commenting on BBC Radio Sheffield's Facebook page firmly against the plans.


No northern powerhouse then? Just a nice ride to Leeds through the countryside, missing out South Yorkshire all together. Morons!"

Bruce Sachs

Ok there's a £1bn saving - hardly sizeable in the grand scale of the project, but where's the benefit of a line into the heart of Sheffield then being stuck in traffic getting to the surrounding areas? I don't mean Barnsley or Rotherham or even Doncaster (which will undoubtedly suffer) but the industrial areas of Sheffield. Oh sorry my bad, this is just to cater for IT-based industry in the financial powerhouse district of the dilapidated city centre... right - got it now!"

Lee Marson

HS2 should be scrapped its not going to be worth the cost."

Pat Shaw

I will be nearly dead by the time it's ready so it means nothing to me."

Neil Meldrum

HS2: Housebuilder shocked by proposed demolition of Mexborough Estate

Strata Homes has sent a letter to resisents on the Shimmer estate saying it had no idea until yesterday afternoon about the proposed plans to change the HS2 route to go through Mexborough and bulldoze the homes it is still building in the area. 

Strata letter

New housing estate in Mexborough to be bulldozed for new HS2 route

Tom Ingall

Journalist, BBC Look North

People in South Yorkshire have been getting letters this morning saying thier homes are going to be knocked down because there's a railway line coming.

Shimmer Housing Estage

It's not even finished being built but the Shimmer housing estate between Mexborough and Conisbrough is going to be knocked down to make way for the changed route for the HS2 train line between London and Leeds.

It was going to take a path around Meadowhall between Sheffield and Rotherham. Now it will be further east between Rotherham and Doncaster, cutting through the Dearne Valley. 

HMP Lindholme: Kilo of drugs seized at prison in month

A kilo of drugs previously known as "legal highs" and dozens of mobile phones have been seized at a Doncaster prison in a single month.  

Lindholme Prison
Bill Henderson Geograph

HM Inspectorate of Prisons said the influx of drugs at HMP Lindholme was "destabilising" the establishment.

The Category C prison holds just over 1,000 adult male inmates.

Prison inspectors said they were told "horrific" stories concerning the possible effects of new psychoactive substances (NPS).