The UK Parliament gave green light for the next phase of the high-speed rail network, with the Bill approving the building of HS2 Phase 2A north from the West Midlands to Crewe achieving Royal Assent.
“Parliament’s approval for extending HS2 beyond the West Midlands to the North is a clear sign that MPs recognise the enormous potential of this scheme and continue to give their strong support. HS2 will spur massive economic growth for our towns and cities, help to level up the country, and provide cleaner, greener public transport for millions,” HS2 Ltd CEO, Mark Thurston said.
The Parliament’s approval for the new phase of HS2 plugs the line into one of the country’s principal rail hubs in Crewe. This means that the 58 km – long route will be constructed earlier than originally planned. It is expected that the opening of the section to coincide with Phase One between London and the West Midlands.
The project will create around 5,000 jobs, with many more in the supply chain. In addition, the railway will support 140 permanent jobs at its maintenance base near Stone in Staffordshire.
“The construction of Phase 2a will support thousands of jobs and create opportunities for local businesses as we build back better,” Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said.
HS2 Phase Two will be delivered in two stages, with the first one from West Midlands to Crewe (2a) and the second one (2b) will link Crewe to Manchester, and the West Midlands to Leeds.
The first phase of HS2 between London and the West Midlands is already well underway, with the start of construction announced in September 2020. There are 240 sites now active along the Phase One route, employing over 13,000 people and over 400 apprenticeships, with tens of thousands more jobs supported through the supply chain. Almost 2,000 companies have worked on the project to date, with 98% of them based in Britain.
The passenger services between London, Birmingham and Crewe will create additional capacity delivering improved reliability and reducing journey times. These services will then join the existing network to create direct services to places including Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow.
The high-speed services will start between HS2’s stations at London Old Oak Common and Birmingham Curzon Street between 2029-33.
The opening of the HS2 Phase 2A will be aligned with the London – Birmingham route.