THE disunity between South Yorkshire councils on HS2 could result in the high speed link through the region being scraped, a business chief has said.

National reports suggest the independent Oakervee review looking into HS2 will recommend scrapping the line from the East Midlands to Leeds which encompasses the route through South Yorkshire in order to save £10bn.

Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster have differing views on how the project should proceed.

Sheffield and Barnsley are both backing the project but Rotherham and Doncaster have called for the eastern leg to be scrapped if the main South Yorkshire station isn’t moved from Sheffield city centre back to Meadowhall.

The government initially listed Meadowhall as the South Yorkshire station but lobbying from Sheffield Council persuaded civil servants to change the route.

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Sheffield Midland was chosen and the ramifications across South Yorkshire have been felt mainly in the increase in demolitions in west Doncaster and eastern Rotherham.

A pragmatic breakthrough was found between the four councils after they endorsed the Sheffield City Region Integrated Rail Plan. This set out a variety of schemes which included a definitive position on HS2, tram-train expansion and a new line and station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

But recent submissions by Rotherham and Doncaster to the independent Oakervee review on HS2 now contradicts the rail plan agreement.

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce chief Richard Wright said disagreements between the councils could give extra impetus for the government to pull the plug on the eastern HS2 leg through South Yorkshire.

“The combined authority need to pull everyone together and focus on the bigger picture moving forward,” he said.

“But all the council leaders signed the Integrated Rail Plan which basically was a blueprint for the region’s rail future only weeks ago which included HS2 backing the current route and they’ve got to get behind that.

“It’s very disappointing that not long after it was signed some people came out and started to question parts of it.

“I don’t know if Dan Jarvis would’ve had any better time trying to sort out HS2 if he wasn’t an MP.

“At the end of the day you’ve got to get people looking at the wider issue and he’s trying to do that with one hand tied behind his back because he’s got four councils that can’t reach a common position.

“I thought they had reached it with the Integrated Rail Plan. But Dan is the mayor, he is the chair of the combined authority and it is his job to try and put forward a common view as it was with devolution.

“It’s like they signed it and then turned around and said it was a waste of time because they actually didn’t agree with it which is terrible.

“We could end up with a situation where HS2 doesn’t come through the region and that would be a disaster the regional economy.”

* Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.