One year on and phase 2 of HS2 set to be unveiled……

HS2 phase 2 soon to be unveiled

Hard to believe it's a year ago - Justine Greening at the planned site for Birmingham city centre's HS2 station

Hard to believe it’s a year ago – Justine Greening visiting Eastside following the HS2 announcement

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since former Transport Secretary Justine Greening visited Birmingham to discuss plans for HS2.

The government confirmed its intention to build HS2 between London and Birmingham on January 10, 2012 and the following day Ms Greening visited Moor St – the proposed site for the high speed rail station in Birmingham city centre.

Ms Greening had a tour of the site from the city centre entrance at Moor Street to the Curzon Street/New Canal Street area. She said she wanted the West Midlands to be the ‘blueprint’ for getting the most out of HS2.

A year has passed and we are now eagerly awaiting news of the second phase route which will link Birmingham with Manchester and Leeds.

Cracking on with HS2

Of course, we now have a new Transport Secretary in Patrick McLoughlin MP. Mr McLoughlin has been keen to press on with HS2. He told the Conservative party conference in Birmingham: ‘I will be cracking on with HS2…we cannot afford not to build it.’

In the meantime, the Local Connectivity group, made up of local authorities across the region, has been examining  the best ways for the West Midlands to benefit from high speed rail. Among the issues being examined:

Building a link from Coventry city centre to HS2

Adding/extending Metro to maximise connectivity

Ensuring swift access to high speed rail for Black Country passengers at Moor St

The NW and Yorks

The West Midlands is keen to improve links with the North West and Yorkshire. HS2 will release capacity on existing lines as well as cutting journey times between Birmingham and Manchester from 90m to 41m and between Birmingham and Leeds from 2h to 57m.

There has been much discussion and speculation as to the location of stations. How will Liverpool access HS2? What provision, if any, will there be for North Staffordshire/south Cheshire?

What will be the location of the Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield stations?

We expect to find out in the next few weeks……

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