Published: Thursday, 17th November 2016
Government announces the preferred route for phase two of HS2 to the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester…
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling this week confirmed the preferred route for phase two of HS2 from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds.
On the western leg, HS2 will continue north from Crewe to Manchester Airport and continue from there to Manchester city centre, where a new HS2 station will be built next to Manchester Piccadilly.
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 continue from the West Midlands to Toton in the East Midlands, where a new HS2 station will be built to serve Nottingham, Derby and the wider region and continue north from the East Midlands to South Yorkshire.
In line with Sir David Higgins’ recommendation, ministers are proposing that HS2 should serve Sheffield with a connection to the existing station with the main route moved further east. A final decision on this section of the route which currently threatens a partly-built housing estate will be made next year.
From South Yorkshire, HS2 will continue to Leeds where a new HS2 station will be built in Leeds city centre, adjacent to the existing station. HS2 will also have a connection onto the East Coast Main Line, allowing HS2 to serve York, Newcastle and other places in the north-east.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is now consulting on seven refinements to the original route involving modifications to both the western and eastern legs designed to reduce the impact on homes, schools, businesses and development sites. Under the modified proposals the HS2 route will now go round rather than tunnelling under the East Midlands Airport.
DfT has also 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.
Also, as part of the HS2 Woodland Fund, the government is providing an initial allocation of £1m 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.