'Step on the gas and get HS2 built': Chesterfield politicians welcome news eastern leg to Sheffield and Leeds is back on
Politicians in Chesterfield have welcomed news that a section of high speed rail route HS2 is once again set to serve the town.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recommitted to building the eastern leg of HS2 after months of rumours it would be scrapped or built in phases and miss out Chesterfield.
When questioned in the House of Commons yesterday, he said the Government was ‘getting on with the eastern leg of HS2’ and the Northern Powerhouse rail project.
Now Chesterfield’s political leaders have urged the Prime Minister to ‘step on the gas and get HS2 built’.
Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, Councillor Tricia Gilby, said: “The Prime Minister’s support is welcome but we have yet to receive the clarity we need from Government about how and when this critical element of HS2 will be delivered.
“It remains vital that the eastern leg of HS2 is delivered in full and that delivery starts as soon as possible.
"This will show that Government is serious about levelling up in areas like ours.
"It will also generate the confidence needed to support our Covid-19 economic recovery plans.
“In Chesterfield we have developed comprehensive regeneration plans for both Staveley and the area around Chesterfield Station, based on the once in a lifetime opportunity that HS2 offers.”
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said he was both ‘pleased and relieved’ to hear the Prime Minister give a clear commitment to the eastern leg of HS2.
"The Government keep publicly backing HS2 and then privately briefing against it,” Mr Perkins said.
"Never before has a Government spent so much money with so little conviction, but actually HS2 is really important, not just for our town, but for the whole issue of re-balancing the North and Midlands, and is about much more than faster train times.
“I am pleased that it appears the Government have listened to the politicians, civic leaders and businesses in the Midlands and north who know how vital HS2 is to our economic development, regeneration projects and job creation.
“The Government need to stop constantly undermining confidence by briefing against their own project and instead step on the gas and get HS2 built.”
Chesterfield Canal Trust remains in negotiations with HS2 about the project’s objection to a planning application to restore a key section of the historic waterway.