HS2 Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:23 pm on 17th July 2017.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Secretary of State for Transport 10:23 pm, 17th July 2017

I know how strongly the right hon. Gentleman feels about this—he and I have spoken about it—and I give him my personal assurance that I have considered the matter very carefully. The truth is that, when it comes to consultations, there are strong views against an option when it affects a particular community. There is no doubt about that at all. I have considered the regeneration issues around Meadowhall as compared with the current route, and I have considered the engineering challenge of building a large station in the Meadowhall corridor. I have also been mindful of the potential benefits of the direct connection between Sheffield Midland and Leeds for northern powerhouse rail. My judgment, after much consideration and listening to the advice of the HS2 leadership team, is that this is the best option. I accept that the right hon. Gentleman will not agree with my decision, but I give him my personal assurance that I have not taken it lightly. I have listened to what he and others have said and given the matter careful thought. He will disagree with me, but I want him to believe that this was a sincerely taken decision.