A public consultation has been launched today by HS2 Ltd to help the development of better journeys between the North and Midlands.
The government are looking for views on the current plans for the design of HS2’s Western Leg between Crewe and Manchester and how it can be linked with Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) to deliver seamless integrated services across the country.
Similarly, among the proposals is the construction of a new HS2 rolling stock depot in Annandale, Scotland, which would create up to 100 jobs in the local area.
The consultation has been launched following recommendations from the Oakervee Review to delivery HS2 in smaller sections and reflect how best to deliver the project alongside other schemes through the development of an Integrated RailPlan, with the aim of refining capacity and connectivity across the North and Midlands and delivering services more quickly and efficiently to people across the UK.
The result of the consultation will also notify the development of the hybrid bill for HS2’s Western Leg before it’s presented in parliament in early 2022.
This shadows extensive work by the Department for Transport (DfT), HS2 Ltd and Transport for the North to propose infrastructure designs that will best integrate HS2 with NPR, reducing the amount of extra infrastructure required in the future.
This includes plans to increase capacity in Manchester by doubling the number of platforms at the Airport station from 2 to 4 and increasing the number at Piccadilly from 4 to 6. Furthermore, an extra northern service from Crewe could see 5 to 7 HS2 trains per hour calling at the station, facilitating connections to NPR and bringing the vision of a Crewe Hub a step closer.
Alongside the new consultation, 3 further Western Leg updates have been issued today which also support the development of the Bill:
- Response to the June 2019 Design Refinement Consultation
- A route-wide update
- An update to safeguarding
HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson 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.”
Image: HS2 Ltd