At the same time, HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins has published his ‘Yorkshire Hub’ report today setting out his recommendations for a new hub station in Leeds, to connect HS2 to existing rail services in a single station and catalyse regeneration around the area.
And on the back of this, the Department for Transport has published an update on the state of its plans for phase two of the project north of Birmingham.
Enabling legislation for phase one between London and Birmingham is already making its way through parliament. The aim is to achieve Royal Assent for this by the end of 2016 so that construction can begin in 2017.
The section of the route from Fradley in the West Midlands to Crewe — now referred to as ‘Phase 2a’ – is being accelerated so that it opens in 2027, six years earlier than previously planned.
Proposals by Sir David Higgins for Leeds Station have been accepted by the transport secretary, to the delight of Leeds City Council. The recommended option for redevelopment of Leeds station will see the HS2 platforms approaching from the south and joining directly to the existing station building.
In Sheffield, an out of town station near the Meadowhall shopping centre is preferred to a city centre location, though this has yet to be finally decided.
In the East Midlands HS2 Ltd wants a hub station at Toton, which also has local authority support. The government therefore continues to support Toton as the best location for an East Midlands hub, Mr McLoughlin said.
For Manchester, he said that “Manchester Piccadilly continues to look like the right location for HS2’s Manchester terminus”.
He added: “To maximise its potential to support economic growth in the region, it will be important to ensure effective co-ordination with the development of Northern Powerhouse rail to transform east-west links across the north of England. We are continuing our work through Transport for the North, and with the National Infrastructure Commission, to explore synergies and integration between the schemes, in order to develop the right rail infrastructure that delivers growth across the whole of the north of England. We also remain of the view that a Manchester Airport station is likely to be the right option, subject to agreeing an appropriate third party funding contribution to the costs.”
Copies of the DfT command paper: High Speed Two: east and west — the next steps to Crewe and beyond and other accompanying documents can be found at gov.uk.
Sir David Higgins' report The Yorkshire Hub: An interim report on the redevelopment of Leeds station is on the HS2 section of gov.uk.