Policy Summary: The proposed route for HS2's nothern section

Policy: High Speed Two: From Crewe to Manchester, the West Midlands to Leeds and beyond.

High speed rail: details of northern route revealed
High speed rail: details of northern route revealed

Issued by: Department for Transport

Issue date: 15 November 2016

Background: HS2 is a national infrastructure project intended to boost rail capacity and speed up journey times between London, the Midlands, and the North. In July 2013, the government consulted on proposed routes for the line from Crewe to Manchester, and from the West Midlands to Leeds, sections of the project known as HS2 Phase 2b. This document confirms the majority of these proposed routes. In seven locations, where the route has changed significantly, the government has opened a new consultation and promised to confirm the full route in 2017.

Key points: Proposed changes to the western leg from Manchester to Crewe are to: move the previously proposed rolling stock depot at Golborne to a site north of Crewe; change the alignment of the proposed approach to Manchester Piccadilly station so that it runs east of West Gorton; move the route in the Middlewich-Northwich area. Changes proposed to the Eastern Leg from the West Midlands to Leeds are to: move the route to the east of Measham; go round instead of under the East Midlands Airport; lengthen the viaduct over the River Trent flood plain; move the north-south alignment of the line to follow a more easterly route over a 70km section between Derbyshire and West Yorkshire.

The government also proposed that HS2 should serve Sheffield with a connection to the existing station, with the main route moved further east. The original plan had been to build a new out-of-town station at the Meadowhall shopping centre. Safeguarding directions have been issued along the whole of the Phase 2b route to protect it from conflicting development. The safeguarding directions trigger statutory blight arrangements under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. These give property owners who meet the statutory criteria the right to serve a blight notice and request that the government purchases their property.

The government is consulting on property compensation schemes, based on those already in place for the rest of HS2, that will apply to owner-occupiers on the Phase 2b route. One compensation scheme would allow blighted owneroccupiers to require the government to buy their property prior to it being needed for the project has been opened. There is also a compensation scheme for owneroccupiers who can prove that they have been prevented from selling their property by the announcement of the Phase 2b route. Plans for a Crewe Hub station are still under consideration.

The government has concluded that, if the scheme is taken forward, it should be located at the site of the existing Crewe station. The government says that national track owner Network Rail and HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for development of the HS2 network, will continue working on proposals and a decision will be made in 2017. Further work is to take place on developing designs for other stations on both legs of the proposed route, in collaboration with local stakeholders, the government says. This will include examining how wider development around stations can contribute to construction costs. Decisions on areas of the route still under consultation will be taken in 2017. A hybrid bill for Phase 2a will be deposited by the end of 2017 and a hybrid bill for Phase 2b by the end of 2019.

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