Chesterfield council leader 'deeply disappointed' by broken promises on HS2

Chesterfield Borough Council’s leader says she is ‘deeply disappointed’ by the Government’s decision to scrap plans for a high speed rail link to serve the town.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 2:54 pm

Councillor Tricia Gilby said the news on HS2’s eastern leg, confirmed by transport secretary Grant Shapps today, also put long-held plans for a train maintenance depot at Staveley into doubt.

Mr Shapps has announced £96bn of ‘new’ funding for rail today, but has been accused of betraying the Midlands and the north by revealing a ‘rethink’ on the HS2 link to Chesterfield, Sheffield and Leeds.

Coun Gilby said “It is deeply disappointing that the government has failed to deliver on its promises to commit to the Eastern Leg of HS2 in full – Chesterfield borough presents a prime example of a place ripe for investment and development off the back of HS2.

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Coun Tricia Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s leader, says she is ‘deeply disappointed’ by the Government’s decision on HS2.

"Instead, the ambitions of our children and young people are yet again set to be held back by the government’s under-investment in the infrastructure needed to enable them to build their careers and lives.

“We have long called on the government to keep their promises and deliver the Eastern leg in full, and without delay.

"Today’s announcement hits hard our plans for up to a billion pounds worth of investment in Staveley alone, including new skills and jobs for local people.

"By backtracking on their promises, the government has taken a once in a lifetime opportunity away from our communities and undermined the hard work and commitment that the council and its partners have put in over many years.

“Pushing it into the long grass creates prolonged uncertainty and destroys some of the hopes we had for a brighter future.

“Rather than look to Chesterfield and Staveley, we fear businesses will now prioritise their investment to areas where the government has committed to invest in HS2.

"With the HS2 maintenance depot in Staveley now in doubt, our well-developed plans to use this to re-ignite much needed growth and regeneration for Staveley will suffer.

"Whilst we will do all we can to ensure this continues, the same levels of investment and development will not be achieved by just connecting HS2 to the existing Midland Main Line.”