By Katie Garrett
Leeds charity says their work is on hold as plans for HS2 are uncertain.
Last year Speical Autism Services were faced with the plans by the HS2 ltd. Community Impact Team that detailed the route of the new highspeed railway lines and showed how they would be affected.
After being warned that they could face losing their rental building which their company is based, they are now being faced with the possibility that the new railway lines may not even be built, creating a “huge degree of uncertainty”.
This is so grim. HS2 was sold to the public as a means to boost the northern economy, but really the northern section has been an afterthought the whole time.
— Joe Bishop 🇪🇺 (@joe_bishh) October 5, 2019
David Newell, Development Manager for Special Autism Services has described the situation as difficult, saying that, “One of the difficult things was where it was nice to be involved in this process, there was still a huge degree of uncertainty.”
If the HS2 plans were to go under the company would have to relocate, however in light of the recent announcement that Leeds is possibly being cut from the northern route, they are unable to make any future plans on what they will do.
The new railway line also threatens a large number of other businesses and hundreds of housing residents, who are faced with the possibility of eviction or major disruption to their daily lives.
Residents of neighbouring villages to the HS2 northern railway line have been faced with a fall in housing prices.
A resident of Kirkthorpe and a campaigner for anti-HS2 group, John Tod, is strongly against the new railway line, describing the news of Leeds possibly being pulled out of the northern route as “fantastic”.
The uncertainty of whether the new line is to be built is impacting a large number of people like himself, as they face falling housing prices, road closures and disruption to existing transport services:
“My house has dropped in value by about £20,000 just for the fact that [the HS2] will be passing by”
“The compensation that is being offered by HS2 Ltd. is not nearly enough to cover that, infact the original route which was quite close to the houses has actually been moved a few hundred yards away which conveniently means that [they] will have to pay less compensation should it go ahead”
“It’s simply not required. Previous high speed rail have proven that instead of having an impact of an economic boost for the region it tends to suck money, towards to the capital city, in this case London”.
Although there is the possibility of the second phase of the HS2 project, which includes Leeds, being cut, it is almost certain that the first phase from London from Birmingham will continue to go ahead.
What is the HS2
The HS2 was first put forward by the Labour government in 2009 proposing the idea of a better connected and quicker train service in the UK.
This model follows on from the first High Speed Rail project that is currently in service between St Pancras International and the Channel Tunnel.
In the original plan, services would run travelling from London Euston up north, splitting to have an eastern and western route.
Being built in two phases, Leeds was featured as one of the stations in the second phase on the eastern route, but has recently been announced that as a result of overspending and needing to cut costs services could be diverted and Leeds being taken out of the project.
Since its proposal the overall cost and time-scale for the project has significantly increased, now looking at running up to seven years late and going £20 billion over budget.
The original cost has risen from £62 billion to between £81 – 88 billion, with the completion of phase one being pushed back from 2026 to five years later, and phase two being delayed the same amount of time later than the original 2032.