WOMBWELL is best placed to benefit from the knock-on effects of a high speed rail station in Meadowhall, a council officer has said.

Kate Faulkes, manager for the South Area council which covers Wombwell, Darfield, Hoyland Milton and Rockingham, made the comments at a meeting of the Wombwell Community Alliance.

Rachael Blake, of HS2 Ltd, had spoken on the potential benefits of the high speed train line, which will connect Meadowhall with London via Birmingham - at a cost of £42.6billion to the public purse.

However, the hard sell was not bought by Cllr Dick Wraith, who questioned whether Wombwell would benefit from any of the investment travelling north from London, arguing this would instead flow to Sheffield and Leeds and that the money would be better spent improving links with Doncaster.

But Kate responded by pointing out Wombwell and the rest of the South Area was well-placed to benefit indirectly via the junction 36 development - a proposed enterprise zone on the Dearne Valley Parkway.

She said: "Links to the junction 36 development area will edge up to Barnsley if the hub (HS2 train station) is at Meadowhall. This part of the borough is best served to benefit from these changes."

Speaking after the meeting, she added: "There's a big push for an enterprise zone at the bottom of the Dearne Valley Parkway, where it meets the M1. If the hub station is at Meadowhall, that's only a 10-minute drive away, which is going to attract businesses.

"People may think the benefits aren't going to come near us but the reach will be much wider than they might imagine."

The final decision on whether HS2 goes ahead will not be made by Parliament until after the 2015 general election. A six-month consultation is taking place until the end of January. An information day will held at Barnsley Town Hall on November 2 between 10am and 5pm.