On November 15 the UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the companies that have been awarded the HS2 Phase One enabling works contracts:
• Area South – CS JV (Costain Group Plc, Skanska Construction UK Ltd)
• Area Central – Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall Plc, BAM Nuttall Ltd, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Ltd)
• Area North – LM JV (Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd, J Murphy & Sons Ltd)
These contracts are worth up to £900 million (more than €1 billion) in total and cover the whole of Phase One. The works include archaeological investigations, site clearance and the setting up of construction compounds ahead of the start of the main civil engineering work.
In the same day, the Transport Secretary confirmed the majority of the preferred HS2 route from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds. “I have published a command paper, High Speed Two: from Crewe to Manchester, the West Midlands to Leeds and beyond, and accompanying maps setting out the detail of my preferred route for HS2 from Crewe to Manchester, and from the West Midlands to Leeds, with junctions onto the existing network. This is known as HS2 Phase 2b,” Grayling said.
The paper is setting out details on the western and eastern legs.
On the western leg, HS2 will:
• continue north from Crewe to Manchester Airport
• continue from Manchester Airport on to Manchester city centre, where a new HS2 station will be built next to Manchester Piccadilly
There will also be a connection to Liverpool and to the existing West Coast main line allowing HS2 services to continue north, serving stations to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
On the eastern leg, HS2 will:
• continue from the West Midlands to Toton in the East Midlands, where a new HS2 station will be built to serve Nottingham, Derby and the wider region
• continue north from the East Midlands to South Yorkshire
• in line with Sir David Higgins’ recommendation, we propose HS2 should serve Sheffield with a connection to the existing station with the main route be moved further east and we will be consulting before a final decision is made next year
• from South Yorkshire, HS2 will continue to Leeds where a new HS2 station will be built in Leeds city centre, adjacent to the existing station
• HS2 will also have a connection onto the East Coast Main Line, allowing HS2 to serve York, Newcastle and other places in the north-east