The Government gave the go ahead for a UK high speed rail network, called High Speed Two (HS2), on 10 January 2012.
HS2 will be a Y-shaped rail network providing direct, high capacity, high speed rail links between London and Birmingham and on to Leeds and Manchester. HS2 will improve capacity across the rail network, shorten journey times between Britain’s major cities, boost the UK economy and create tens of thousands of jobs.
In 2012, HS2 Ltd submitted proposals to the Secretary of State for Phase Two of the project from the West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester. The Government announced its initial preferred route for Phase Two on 28 January 2013 and the public consultation on these proposals ran from 17 July 2013 to 31 January 2014.
The HS2 hybrid Bill for Phase One of the new railway between London and the West Midlands (effectively the ‘in-principle’ planning application for the scheme) was deposited in Parliament on 25 November 2013.
MPs debated and approved second reading of the High Speed Rail (hybrid) Bill for construction and operation of the line between London and the West Midlands in the House of Commons on 28 April 2014. MPs voted 452 to 41 to agree the second reading of the Bill. Royal Assent, which grants powers for construction of the Phase One route, was awarded on 23 February 2017.
In November 2015 the Government confirmed the section of the Phase Two route between Fradley, at the northern end of Phase 1, and Crewe. Known as Phase 2a it will open in 2027 and deliver the benefits of high speed rail to Crewe; Manchester; north west England; north Wales and Scotland six years earlier than planned.
The Government confirmed the rest of the Phase 2 route serving Manchester on the western leg, and the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and Leeds on the eastern leg on 17 July 2017.
HS2 Ltd is a company wholly owned by the Department for Transport (DfT). It is responsible for design, engineering and construction of High Speed Two (HS2).