HS2 Bill for Crewe–Manchester section submitted

HS2 Western Leg The Bill for the Crewe–Manchester extension of the HS2 Western Leg was submitted to Parliament which will set out the legislation for the implementation of the project which will double capacity between Manchester and London, and more than treble capacity between Manchester and Birmingham.

The 85 km extension of high speed is part of the HS2 Phase 2B Western Leg which will free up capacity on the congested West Coast Main Line and deliver significant connectivity, reliability and journey time benefits for passengers travelling between Scotland, the North, the Midlands and the South East.

The Bill, called the ‘High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill’, seeks powers to construct and operate the Phase 2b Western Leg.

The section includes new high-speed stations at Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly, and provides the critical infrastructure required for Northern Powerhouse Rail and provision for new Metrolink routes, making Manchester the best-connected city outside of London.

Commuter towns south of Manchester could also feel the benefit when new zero carbon high-speed trains shift onto the dedicated HS2 track. Up to three new train paths per hour could be released between Crewe and Manchester via Stockport, and the number of seats on services between Crewe, Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester Piccadilly could more than double during the evening peak as a result.

The announcement was coupled with confirmation of the HS2’s Minister’s decision to include plans for a rolling stock depot north of Crewe and a smaller depot and train stabling facilities in Dumfries and Galloway in the scheme proposals. The depots would support the creation of hundreds of permanent skilled jobs.

Is was announced that the HS2 trains will be powered by zero carbon energy offering a cleaner alternative to long distance car journeys and domestic flights. Plans for the HS2 Western Leg extension fully support that vision with journey times between Glasgow and the capital slashed by 49 minutes and Edinburgh and Birmingham made 43 minutes faster.

The construction of the Phase 2b Western Leg sets a further aspiration for cleaner, greener travel by becoming the first major infrastructure project to set out its ambition to deliver a net gain in biodiversity.

The introduction of the bill marks the next chapter in a project that is already well underway by connecting three of England’s greatest cities – London, Birmingham and Manchester.

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