HS2 Ltd Launches Public Consultation on Proposed Changes to Phase 2b

HS2 Ltd has launched a public consultation on the suggested design changes to be made to HS2 Phase 2b. The consultation will remain open until 11:45pm on 11 December 2020.

The proposed changes include more platforms at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport, a new rolling stock depot in Annandale, Scotland, and an additional rail connection between Crewe and the North. The measures are designed to improve the connection between HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR).

HS2 Phase 2b map
HS2 Phase 2b map

HS2 Ltd had launched the consultation taking into account the recommendation from the Oakervee Review, which said HS2 should be delivered in smaller chunks and thought should be given as to how the project could be delivered in tandem with other projects by creating an Integrated Rail Plan. The aim is to boost capacity and connectivity across the North and the Midlands.

Andrew Stephenson, HS2 Minister, said:

“HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail are an integral part of this country's future rail network, vital for improving connections between our biggest cities and regions, boosting jobs and kickstarting economic growth as we build back better.

“This consultation will ensure passengers and business have their say in delivering a rail network that meets their needs, providing better journeys across the Midlands and the North as quickly as possible.”

The results of this public consultation will feed into the development of the hybrid bill for HS2’s Western Leg prior to its introduction in parliament in early 2022.

The DfT, HS2 Ltd and Transport for the North have worked together to propose infrastructure designs that would integrate HS2 and NPR in the best-possible way, cutting down how much additional infrastructure would be needed in the future.

The proposals include:

  • doubling the number of platforms at the Airport station from 2 to 4
  • adding two platforms at Manchester Piccadilly, bringing the total to 6
  • adding a further northern service from Crewe

Four proposed changes will go ahead following the June 2019 consultation, subject to the outcome of the Integrated Rail Plan. These changes affect the HS2 project in Manchester and Cheshire.

Legislation for Phase 2a from Birmingham to Crewe is currently being considered in parliament.

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