House of Commons Library

High Speed 2 (HS2) Phase 2b and beyond

Published Thursday, August 10, 2017

This paper summarises Phase 2b of the proposed new high speed rail line between London and the North of England (HS2). It gives a brief overview of the scheme, its costs, compensation arrangements and the preferred route. It also looks at Northern Powerhouse Rail (HS3) and high speed rail to and within Scotland.

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HS2 is a proposed infrastructure project to build a high speed rail line from London to Manchester and Leeds, via Birmingham, to begin operation in 2026 and be completed in 2033. It was supported by the Labour Government after 2009 and has had the support of the Conservatives in government since May 2010.

HS2 will be delivered in three phases:

  • Phase 1 from London Euston to Birmingham Curzon Street and Lichfield with intermediate stations in West London (at Old Oak Common) and at Birmingham Airport;
  • Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe; and
  • Phase 2b comprising an eastern leg from the West Midlands to Leeds New Lane with intermediate stations in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire; and a western leg from Crewe to Manchester with an intermediate station at Manchester Airport.

In total, the scheme is estimated to cost £55.7 billion in 2015 prices (including rolling stock).

Despite enjoying widespread support across all parties in Parliament the scheme remains controversial outside, with disagreements regarding the economic and environmental cases for the scheme. Many of those who will be directly affected by the construction of the route are concerned for the future.

This paper deals with Phase 2b of the HS2 scheme from Crewe to Manchester and from the West Midlands to Leeds via Sheffield. In July 2017 the Government issued a consultation on the eastern leg rolling stock depot and announced decisions on route refinements for Phase 2b. The bill for this part of the route is expected after the Bill for Phase 2a has passed through Parliament; the Government hopes this will be in 2019.

This paper also looks briefly at Northern Powerhouse Rail (sometimes referred to as HS3, though it is not ‘high speed’ in the way that HS2 is) and the progress of high speed rail to and within Scotland.

Information on Phase 1 and Phase 2a of HS2 can be found in HC Library briefing papers SN316 and CBP 7082, respectively.

General background information on the HS2 scheme can be found in RP11/75.

Maps showing the Parliamentary constituencies through which HS2 runs can be found at the bottom of this page.

Further briefings are available on the Railways Topical Page

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8071

Author: Louise Butcher

Topic: Railways

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