HS2 Crewe link to open six years early

30 Nov 15

The High Speed 2 rail route linking the West Midlands to Crewe will open in 2027, six years earlier than planned.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin today issued a revised timetable for the scheme. He said the government agreed with HS2 Ltd chair Sir David Higgins proposal to bring forward construction to Crewe in a ‘phase 2a’. Under the original plan, the line was intended to open between London and Birmingham in 2026 and on to Manchester and Leeds, including the link to Crewe, by 2033.

However, Higgins called for a portion of the scheme to be brought forward in order to allow high-speed trains to serve more destinations sooner.

McLoughlin today confirmed the government would back the changes and open the Crewe link in 2027. This will allow trains on the high-speed line to the use conventional rail lines to continue to Manchester, Liverpool and Wales, improving journey times.

McLoughlin said: “HS2 will help rebalance our economy by providing more space on our crowded rail network, creating jobs and supporting business. “Confirming that the route from the West Midlands to Crewe will open six years early is a major boost for the Midlands, Northern Powerhouse and beyond.”

He also confirmed safeguarding directions for phase 2a to protect land from potentially conflicting development and approved a new compensation scheme for homeowners along the route.

Those affected by the new line will be eligible for an express purchase scheme of their home under a blight notice.

The government launched a consultation on the proposed package today in order to allow households most directly affected by HS2 to access assistance with minimal delay.

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