An update on the HS2 Campaign

An update on the HS2 Campaign

08 January 2016

HS2 Ltd have issued a further tranche of small changes to the bill for Phase 1 (‘Additional Provisions’ 4 & 5), with again limited relevance to inland waterways.

On Monday 30 November a Command Paper was produced in the House of Commons about HS2, updating work by HS2 and others on Phase 2, without providing any decisions on the Phase 2 preferred route. This information seems to have been ‘slipped out’ in a quiet period, however contains relatively little new. Headlines are:

  • The Phase 2 ‘Y’ network (Birmingham to Manchester, and Birmingham to Leeds) has again been confirmed for development in full.
  • A decision on the ‘preferred route’ for Phase 2 will be issued in Autumn 2016- which will be 2 years after consultations were put in (including IWA’s)!
  • Acceleration of the section of Phase 2 Fradley to Crewe (now called Phase 2A) has been confirmed. This section will be advanced by 6 years, completing in 2027 with a railhead south of Crewe (2 options to be evaluated, one the existing station, the other a freight yard some 2km away). This station will have major links to conventional rail and road.
    • The route has relatively little impact on inland waterways, and it is good to see that HS2 have adopted one of Phil Sharpe’s suggestions IWA put forward on this route, to extend the viaduct alongside Great Haywood Marina and slightly reduce impact.
    • ‘Safeguarding’ of the route (its formal identification to planning authorities, to ensure the route is considered if any planning decisions are required before it has been formally approved) will now commence.
    • There will be a new hybrid bill to promote this section.
  • Sheffield station will probably be at Meadowhall as expected, not in the city. This will be confirmed in Autumn 2016.
  • East Midlands station will be at Toton, probably near to where it was shown in the 2014 consultation. This is likely to still affect the Erewash Canal, as may the various connecting infrastructure which is to be developed by a local transport group. This will be confirmed in Autumn 2016.
  • Impact on the Chesterfield Canal and Dearne and Dove Canal is noted as requiring attention.
  • Leeds station is to be developed as a ‘single hub’ pulling together the existing conventional and HS2 stations, and other infrastructure where possible. A group including HS2 and Leeds City Council is to be set up to work on the detail. In the ‘preferred option’ for this, HS2 will have a station deck across the River Aire at right angles, which will have an impact- but away from the Canal Wharf area, and the Leeds and Liverpool canal. However this approach potentially uses the Woodlesford route, with its significant impact on the Aire and Calder due to height restrictions. This will be confirmed in Autumn 2016.
  • The western route will have stations at Manchester Piccadilly and Airport, and the link into the conventional West Coast Main Line near Golbourne, where the intersections and a maintenance depot visually blight the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. This will be confirmed in Autumn 2016.
  • Stoke on Trent and Stafford will probably not get stations, however some additional provision may be made for extra trains via the Handsacre Link (to the existing West Coast Main Line)- which will increase traffic near Fradley. This will be confirmed in Autumn 2016.

The as-yet unanswered question is when HS2 will engage with the likes of IWA, CRT and Chesterfield Canal Trust on the impact of these routes. We will continue to press for discussions in 2016.

Further details if you want to read more can be found in these government and HS2 Ltd supporting papers:

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