As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and Barnsley Gazette, Michael called on the Government to end the uncertainty faced by residents and businesses in Barnsley over the proposed HS2 high-speed rail link.
Michael has written to HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to outline his support for the project and the boost it will give to the local economy.
But he said the Government must now formally withdraw a proposed “Meadowhall route” which would cut through a large part of the borough of Barnsley.
In a joint letter with Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis to Mr Thurston, Michael wrote:
“We remain committed to HS2 infrastructure improvements and believe that high speed rail improvements will make a significant impact on the region’s economy and future prospects for growth.
“It is increasingly evident that the Meadowhall option proposed in 2013 is not realistic and is not a location we would support. There must be no backtracking from the Government on the route.
“The ‘Meadowhall route’ cut through a large part of the Borough and many residents and businesses within Barnsley have endured four years of unwelcome uncertainty.
“It is time to take away the blight of uncertainty on our communities by formally withdrawing the Meadowhall option and focus on the opportunities and challenges of the new route”
Michael has also stated that he supports proposals for a new parkway station along the new eastern leg route for all the main HS2 services which – combined with improvements to the Dearne Valley line – would make a “huge difference to the area and would offer real benefits to the City Region”.
You can read Michael’s full comments on HS2 here.