HS2 Routes for North West Announced


HS2 Routes for North West Announced

The government has announced the route for the second phase of the high-speed rail line HS2, from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds.

The announcement paves the way for far better links between London and the provinces.  Critics say HS2 is not needed and will spoil parts of the countryside.  The announcement removes much of the uncertainty over the project, except over where to site Sheffield’s station – a decision on which is expected next year.

The spurs taking the line to Manchester will be part of Phase 2 and will result in services either into Manchester Picadilly or forking off into Manchester Airport.

The first phase of the £56bn railway is due to open in December 2026, with high speed trains between London and Birmingham before continuing on the existing West Coast Main Line.  The second phase is due to be completed by about 2032-33.  Once complete the Department of Transport estimate that a train journey from London to Manchester will take an impressive 67 minutes compared to the current 2 hours and 7 minutes.   HS2 will now need to be ratified by Parliament and the process for affected homeowners (generally those living within 60m of the route) obtaining compensation is also being revealed.  The Department for Transport says compensation will be calculated at 110% of the value their home would have had without any plans for HS2.

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Image courtesy of the Manchester Evening News.