This paper provides general information on the proposed 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 Bill which would give statutory and planning authority for the construction of Phase 2a of the scheme between the West Midlands and Crewe.Jump to full report >>
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 is planned to be delivered in three phases:
In total, the Government has estimated that the scheme will 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. The scheme has passionate supporters and opponents who, for the past seven or eight years, have argued across a variety of fora, including Parliament, as to whether the scheme would deliver enough in the way of benefits to justify the price tag. These debates continue.
This paper deals with Phase 2a of the HS2 scheme to Crewe. The Government announced its preferred route in November 2015; launched compensation schemes and safeguarded the route. The hybrid bill to authorise the works for Phase 2a was published in July 2017. It received Second Reading in the House of Commons in January 2018, after which it went into a specially convened Select Committee where Petitions against the Bill are heard. The Committee published its second report on 27 July 2018. The Committee will resume hearing Petitions once Additional Provision 2 (AP2) has been deposited by the Government. This is expected ‘around the turn of the year’.
A guide to the (recently revised) hybrid bill process can be found in HC Library briefing paper CBP 6736.
Maps showing the Parliamentary constituencies through which HS2 runs can be found attached to the landing page for this paper.
Further briefings are available on the Railways Topical Page of the Parliament website.
Commons Briefing papers SN07082
Author: Louise Butcher