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Issued:10/03/14

Three transport heavyweights will go head to head over plans for a HS2 high speed rail network through South Yorkshire - at a University event this week.

Sheffield Hallam University and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) will host Jim Steer, director of pro high-speed rail group Greengauge 21, Chris Stokes, former executive director for rail development at the Strategic Rail Authority and Lord Berkeley, Chairman of the Rail Freight Group at an event this Thursday.

All three speakers have offered strong views on HS2, with Jim Steer saying recently: "HS2 is a project that will build a bright future for Britain. Walking away from HS2 is a risk that Britain just cannot afford to take."

But Chris Stokes, who will argue against the HS2 development, has said he doubts the need for a high speed link connecting London to the west Midlands and the north.

Tim Parker, lecturer in logistics at Sheffield Hallam, said: "HS2 is an ambitious project that, if delivered as planned, should add capacity to Britain’s overcrowded rail network.

"Sheffield is so centrally-placed in the UK's infrastructure network and the University specialises in railway engineering management courses so this event will put us at the heart of arguments for and against the HS2 development. 

"This event also celebrates the University's link with the logistics industry, one of the biggest sectors of employment in the country.  Whatever the outcome of the HS2 project there is no doubt our logistics and engineering students will be in greater demand once they graduate."

The event, in the University’s Cantor Building from 5pm, will be chaired by Professor Jill Stewart, department head of engineering and mathematics at Sheffield Hallam. To register, contact Tim Parker at t.parker@shu.ac.uk. All are welcome to attend.

For press information: contact Laurie Harvey in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email pressoffice@shu.ac.uk