High Speed 2

The nominations are in, lines have been drawn on maps and now it’s time, once again, to choose your High Speed 2 route. But choose wisely – a wrong decision may enrage the provinces or bankrupt the country.

In these uncertain times there’s comfort to be had from seeing HS2 contractors busy on site – 240 sites actually at the latest count. Amid all the turmoil around us, Britain is actually building a high-speed railway.

So the railway will go from London to the West Midlands (Phase One) with the Queen expected to grant Royal Assent for legislation that will allow additional infrastructure to Crewe (Phase 2a) early in the New Year. But what next? For so long it seemed simple – HS2 was a Y-shaped network diverging north west to Manchester and north east to Leeds.

As discussed here before, Manchester still has a strong shout for a direct link, but when it comes to the relationship between HS2, the East Midlands and Leeds, well, it’s complicated.

The Government has intimated that all will become clear with publication, earlyish in 2021, of its Integrated Rail Plan setting out how HS2 will interact with Northern Powerhouse Rail and other schemes. This will be crucial in determining exactly how HS2 connects with the north of England.

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