Second phase of HS2 approved

By - World Infrastructure Journal

Second phase of HS2 approved

Phase two of HS2 between West Midlands and Crewe has been given final approval to begin work, as part of the Government’s commitment to bring the new high-speed railway to the north.

The HS2 Phase 2a: High-Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe) Bill was given the green light within parliament over a year ago but has only just received Royal Assent. This means work can officially begin on the next phase of the high-speed railway which is set to create over 5,000 jobs between Crewe and Birmingham

Phase one of the project, between London and Birmingham, has been well under way since 2017 and now supports more than 15,000 jobs and 500 apprenticeships.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The signing of the Phase 2a Bill into law is a historic milestone for this ambitious project, which is already creating and supporting thousands of jobs across the UK. I look forward to seeing spades in the ground to get this section built and deliver the benefits of high-speed rail to the north as swiftly as possible. ”

The announcement comes alongside the launch of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s HS2 Growth Strategy, which outlines how the new railway could generate 175,000 jobs and £20 billion investment in the region.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said “HS2 will be a key anchor of the region’s recovery plans, with our latest research suggesting the knock-on effect of HS2 could eventually generate 175,000 jobs and more than £20 billion of investment. ”

The majority of the HS2 rail plan including the longer 120-mile route to Leeds is less certain because of the expense of the overall project, which is expected to reach £106 billion, almost double the previous estimate. A review from the National Infrastructure Commission, published in December, suggested that the eastern leg could be downgraded in favour of upgrades of existing lines.

This year, the government will publish its integrated rail plan, which will outline how HS2 can work with existing rail plans and Northern Powerhouse Rail to deliver the benefits of HS2 to the East Midlands, Yorkshire and beyond.

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