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Grayling confirms HS2 north routes

Words: Laura Edgar
Chris Grayling / Shutterstock_378259816

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed the preferred routes for the HS2 rail lines to the North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire.

The route will mean that journeys from Manchester to Birmingham will take 40 minutes, the government said – half the amount of time it currently takes.

A document published about the routes and a number of consultations states that the route consulted on in 2016 to Sheffield supports Grayling’s “strategic aims of serving South Yorkshire whilst maintaining the integrity of the service to the larger markets in Leeds, York and the North East”, and the ambition of the Northern Powerhouse.

He has confirmed the route will be a 9.4km southern spur to the east of Stoneboom off the HS2 mainline built, which will see HS2 trains run to Sheffield city centre along the existing rail network. The main north-south route alignment will be moved to follow a more easterly alignment over 70km between Derbyshire and West Yorkshire.

This will see 16 homes on the brand-new Shimmer estate demolished.

The routes for Crewe to Manchester, and West Midlands to Leeds, were laid out in November last year.

Grayling said: “Britain’s new railway line will bring huge economic benefits across the country and help ensure this government delivers on its promise to spread wealth beyond London and the South-East.

“By building a whole new railway line for high-speed intercity connections, we will free up local services, meaning more comfort, more seats and more trains for passengers across the North and the Midlands.”

David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, added: “Today we have taken a huge step forward in connecting eight of our largest cities, freeing up space on our railways and building a catalyst for growth across the country. Once [it is] completed, 30 million people will be served by HS2 across over 25 stations, helping to change the economic geography of the country, and bring prosperity to the Midlands, the North, and beyond.”

The government has also announced that UK firms Carillion, Costain, and Balfour Beatty are among the consortia that have been awarded contracts to build the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham.

The phase 2b route decision can be found on the UK Government website (pdf).

Image credit | Shutterstock