Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today (15 November 2016) confirmed the majority of the preferred HS2 route from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds in a major boost for the UK’s future economic prosperity and a further clear signal the country is open for business.
This is a major step towards:
The new HS2 trains will carry over 300,000 people a day and will triple seats available out of Euston at peak hours, freeing up space on the existing network for additional commuter and freight services.
HS2 will create around 25,000 jobs during construction as well as 2,000 apprenticeships. It will also support growth in the wider economy, worth an additional 100,000 jobs.
The direct benefits of HS2 will reach far beyond the towns and regions directly served by the newly built railway lines. As the full network is completed, new HS2 trains will continue up the East and West Coast Main Lines, serving areas including:
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“Our railways owe much to the Victorian engineers who pioneered them, but we cannot rest on their legacy when we face overcrowding and capacity problems.
“HS2 is an ambitious and exciting project and the government is seizing the opportunity it offers to build a transport network fit for the 21st century; one that works for all and makes clear to the world that Britain remains open for business.
“The full HS2 route will be a game-changer for the country that will slash journey times and perhaps most importantly give rail passengers on the existing network thousands of extra seats every day. They represent the greatest upgrade to our railway in living memory.
“But while it will bring significant benefits, I recognise the difficulties faced by communities along the route. They will be treated with fairness, compassion and respect and, as with Phase One, we intend to introduce further compensation which goes over and above what is required by law.”
The Transport Secretary has today also announced that HS2 Ltd has awarded a £900 million contract to:
so that construction on the first phase of HS2 between the West Midlands and London can get underway next year as planned.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“The new HS2 routes laid out today will make sure our plans to create an economy that works for everyone remain right on track.
“We are determined to get both the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse firing on all cylinders and HS2 will help create new growth, jobs and homes right across the line.”
The Transport Secretary has published a command paper High Speed Two: from Crewe to Manchester, the West Midlands to Leeds and beyond, setting out today’s announcement in more detail.
On the western leg, HS2 will:
There will also be a connection to Liverpool and to the existing West Coast main line allowing HS2 services to continue north, serving stations to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
On the eastern leg, HS2 will:
These are, on the western leg:
On the eastern leg:
The Department for Transport has today issued safeguarding directions for the preferred Phase 2b route which protects the preferred route from conflicting development and also means that those people who are most affected by the plans to build Phase 2b can now apply to the government to buy their home.
The department is also consulting on discretionary property schemes. These schemes are the same as those currently in operation for people living along the Phase One route. Two of these schemes will enter into operation from today on an interim basis - these are Express Purchase and Need to Sell, and if confirmed by the government, all the schemes will be in place until 1 year after the railway is fully operational.
As part of the HS2 Woodland Fund we have made available an initial allocation of £1 million to the Forestry Commission to support projects that will help restore, enhance and extend ancient woodland on private land or in partnership with multiple landowners . This could support projects similar to the restoration of Chalkney Wood in Essex that has successfully removed all the conifers from an ancient woodland to restore it to native species.
The government originally set out plans for HS2 Phase Two in 2013. Since then it was decided to develop Phase Two in 2 stages:
Phase 2a will open in 2027, Phase 2b in 2033.
HS2 and major projects media enquiries:
Press enquiries 020 7944 3068
Out of hours 020 7944 4292
0300 330 3000