HS2 Proposals and Benefits
Phase 1: London to Birmingham
The route would begin at a rebuilt London Euston station and interchange with Crossrail and Heathrow Express in West London. Phase 1 would include a connection to the Channel Tunnel and Continental Europe. A direct HS2 link from the West Midlands to Heathrow Airport could be included in Phase 2.
The route would continue through several Counties to reach a new Birmingham Interchange station next to Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC). The route then splits; one link heads west into Birmingham and another links directly to the existing West Coast Main Line to the North.
The route would enter Birmingham at Minworth and run alongside the existing Birmingham to Water Orton railway line as far as Saltley, continuing through Eastside to a new station next to Moor Street station.
The new station will be fully integrated into the City Centre, with the creation of significant new employment and extensive high-quality transport links.
Why do we need HS2?
Population increases and economic changes are meaning more travel, particularly to cities and town centres; rail travel between Birmingham and London is predicted to more than double in 20 years.
Our transport system is becoming full, needing expansion of public transport, particularly railways to help avoid more road congestion with its costs and environmental impacts.
Expanding existing railways is helping, but in the long term this will not be enough, will not be value for money and will cause delays and disruption. So, the Government plans to build a new high speed rail line, to provide significant extra capacity for passengers and freight, within the UK and to continental Europe.
What are the benefits of HS2?
There are predicted to be significant national and local economic benefits by sharing some of the South East’s wealth.
Independent research carried out in 2013 predicts that when the HS2 network is fully operational, and if the right local transport improvements are introduced to improve access to HS2 and spread the benefits across a wider area, the West Midlands metropolitan area could see:
- 50,000 additional jobs;
- 26,000 of these jobs would be in Birmingham/Solihull;
- An average GVA increase of £680 per worker; and
- A £4bn increase in economic output per year.
Phase 2: Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds
Phase Two of HS2 completes the ‘Y’ shaped network from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, with new stations as follows:
- Toton in the East Midlands (to serve Derby/Nottingham);
- Sheffield (Meadowhall);
- Leeds city centre;
- Manchester Airport; and
- Manchester city centre.
The dedicated high speed line continues to just south of Wigan, Greater Manchester then services (including those to and from Birmingham) would run on the existing line northwards.
More information can be found at http://www.hs2.org.uk/phase-two
A plan of the network is shown below.