Roads and transport High Speed Two (HS2)

Update: October 2023
Please note that this page has not yet been updated to reflect the announcement by the Prime Minster on Wednesday 4 October 2023. The Council are awaiting further clarification from the Department for Transport on next steps.

High Speed Two (HS2) is the Government’s proposal for a new, high speed north-south railway, which aims to improve connectivity and journey times, creating jobs and supporting the economy.

The Government divided the project into three stages, with each stage needing to be approved by Parliament through what is known as a ‘hybrid’ Bill.

The three stages of HS2 are:

  •  Phase 1 hybrid Bill titled ‘High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands)’
  • Phase 2a hybrid Bill titled ‘High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe)’
  • Phase 2b hybrid Bill titled ‘High Speed Rail (Crewe to Manchester)’

Phase 1 is under construction and Phase 2a construction is planned to start early 2024. Both Phase 1 and Phase 2a are anticipated to open between 2029 and 2033. Phase 2b includes proposals for two new high speed stations in Manchester, at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport, together with a tunnelled section of track linking the two stations.

HS2 in Manchester

The Council strongly support the principle of HS2, as it presents a unique opportunity to bring economic growth and better transport connections to areas across the north of England and other parts of the UK. HS2 will bring new jobs, training opportunities and business for local residents and companies. It can also provide opportunities to regenerate the areas around the new stations, providing further new jobs, homes and public space. This is in addition to the extra capacity HS2 will provide on the railways, including freeing up more space for local and regional services, helping to take cars and lorries off the road and improving air quality.

The Council is working with HS2 Ltd and Government to ensure that HS2 is delivered in a way which maximises the expected benefits for Manchester, Greater Manchester and the North, including integrating HS2 with proposals for improved rail links across the cities of the North, known as Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR). There are several issues with the proposals included in the Phase 2b hybrid Bill that we believe fall short of doing this, and we are continuing to lobby Government about these matters. The Council will also be seeking to ensure that HS2 Ltd minimise and mitigate any adverse impacts on local communities during the construction of HS2 in Manchester

The Phase 2b hybrid Bill

The HS2 Phase 2b hybrid Bill (Crewe to Manchester) was presented to Parliament on 24 February 2022.

The Parliamentary Bill process is anticipated to take 2-3 years. If the hybrid Bill is passed by Parliament, work will be able to begin on constructing HS2 in Manchester. The exact timescale for this will not be known until after approval is given, but it is anticipated that the Phase 2b Western Leg will be up and running between 2035 and 2040.

The hybrid Bill and documents relating to it have been made publicly available online and at local libraries.

The documents include:

  • The Bill itself
  • Details of the work taking place
  • Plans of the proposed route
  • An estimate of the cost
  • The Environmental Statement and Equality Impact Assessment

Find out about the public consultation

HS2 Ltd can be contacted directly via:

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