Today marks a significant milestone in the life of the HS2 project, as it becomes ever more a truly North – South railway. The legislation needed for the next phase of the high speed line has now passed through both Houses of Parliament and achieved Royal Assent, paving the way for further development and eventually construction of the line from the West Midlands to Crewe.

Responding to granting of Royal Assent for the HS2 Phase 2a: High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe) Bill today, a High Speed Rail Group (HSRG) spokesperson commented:

 “The scheme will provide a new national transport spine for the country and be a cornerstone of the Government’s vision to level up Britain. HSRG have long highlighted the significant impact Phase 2a will have on line of route towns and beyond. In Crewe, for example, a new commercial hub will be created that will help unlock growth in the wider North West and North Wales.

“As we look to the future, we look forward to seeing the next HS2 phase under development, the Western Leg from Crewe to Manchester, progress. But we must ensure that we develop a high speed rail network that delivers for the whole of Britain. This includes the areas that will be served by HS2’s Eastern Leg, where the project will also bring with it a wealth of investment, skills and job opportunities, to communities that need them most. 

 “HS2, and high speed rail more broadly, will have a transformative impact on our country. We must ensure that we continue to build on the momentum of today’s milestone to build back better as a stronger, greener Britain.”

Phase 2a runs for 57km from the West Midlands to Crewe and will form the first section of the western leg of HS2 phase 2, which will eventually run to Manchester. Phase 2a interfaces with phase 1 – from London to Birmingham – and with the existing West Coast Mainline, south of Crewe.

The route is largely rural, passing through farmland, but also includes residential areas and towns. It also passes through a number of local authority districts, including Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent and Cheshire.

Along the route there is around 2.5km of bored tunnel, 7km of viaducts, 19M.m3 of embankments, 20M.m3 of cuttings, 42 structures, overbridge and underbridges, and one combined Infrastructure maintenance depot.