Track and signalling

13.02.19

Select committee to decide on amendments to HS2’s northern Phase 2 plan

MPs are to vote on amendments to the construction of the second phase of HS2, Phase 2a, to decide whether or not to take forward major changes to layouts and designs of the proposed network.

A select committee of MPs will rule on the changes proposed for the northern section of HS2 between the West Midlands and Crewe after a consultation, petitions from critics, and environmental concerns have been heard.

The amendments, set out in a provisions document, include changes to the viaducts, junction layouts, and tunnel lengths, addressing several local complaints regarding noise levels and environmental disruption.

Included in the amendments are changes to Crewe Station, with an extension of platform five at the station proposed to accommodate the longer HS2 train, following guidance from Cheshire East Council set out in the Crewe Hub vision.

Two of the changes are in response to concerns raised by Staffordshire County Council over noise levels relating to the proposed Kings Bromley viaduct near the Trent and Mersey Canal.

HS2 assured the authority in May last year that the viaduct’s height would be lowered, and the amendments suggests that the changes will also reduce the construction cost and visual impact.

The council also wanted a simpler, revised layout for Handsacre Junction, which is where Phase 1 of HS2 will connect with the West Coast Main Line.

Other amendments up for consideration include a southern extension to the tunnel at Whitmore in Stoke-on-Trent; and a new traction power connection at Newlands Lane, which the HS2 minister Nusrat Ghani said would provide the resilience required for the traction power on high-speed railway.

The select committee will decide on which amendments to carry forward before a consultation running until the end of March will hear from the public and petitioners.

Image credit - OwenPrice

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