Plans to Integrate HS2 with Northern Powerhouse.
Plans to integrate HS2 with Northern Powerhouse Rail take big step forward as consultation launched over key changes. Under Transport for the North’s current plans, HS2 and NPR would share 80km of rail infrastructure.
Plans to integrate HS2 with the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) project have taken a big step forward, with a consultation launched over key changes to the North West section of the huge project.
HS2 Ltd today started a consultation surrounding changes to Phase 2b, which would create links between the western leg in the North West and the proposed NPR network. It includes provisions for the Crewe North Hub, and changes to HS2 plans at Manchester Airport and Piccadilly stations.
TfN said it welcomes the move as “further progress in delivering a step-change for rail travel in the North”, and that it’s “vital” the plans to integrate the network on the east of the Pennines also progress.
Under TfN’s current plans, HS2 and NPR would share 80km of rail infrastructure.
Plans revealed today are subject to the outcome of the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP).
Due to report at the end of this year, it’s expected to make further recommendations about major projects in the North and Midlands, including HS2 Phase 2b routes through the East Midlands and Yorkshire, NPR and plans for key stations such as Manchester Piccadilly.
Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail director at Transport for the North, said: “It is good to see proposals for HS2 moving forwards, as the North has waited too long for the new investment it needs in high speed rail lines found elsewhere in Europe. Together, the two projects will form the backbone of a futureproof rail network for our region.
“But we must ensure that this investment allows for benefits to be shared equally across the North. Northern Powerhouse Rail relies on parts of HS2 infrastructure being built to run its trains too. Therefore it is vital the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan commits to bringing forward plans for the HS2 eastern leg connecting the Midlands with Yorkshire, including Sheffield and Leeds, and getting spades in the ground in the North as soon as possible.
“HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, delivered together in full, would tackle head-on the productivity gap between the North and the South, and provide the modern, fit-for-purpose railway the North so badly needs.”