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29.07.11

HS2 ‘Y-shape’ branches to be built simultaneously, says Hammond

The second phase of HS2, the links from Birmingham north to Manchester and Leeds, will be built “at the same time”, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed.

He made the comments during a trip to Sheffield, telling the BBC that once the £32bn high-speed project had reached Birmingham, “we will then build out the Manchester and the Leeds branches simultaneously”.

The comments have been welcomed in West Yorkshire especially, where there had been concerns that the ‘eastern’ link via the East Midlands up to Leeds would be a lower priority than the stretch up to Manchester.

West Yorkshire Metro’s chairman Cllr James Lewis said: “Now that we have the Secretary of State's assurance that both legs will be built at the same time, we'd like to see the plans for the whole network brought forward so that the benefits can be felt as quickly as possible.”

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