HS2 one step closer
HS2, the high speed railway connecting London with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester has taken another step towards construction, with Parliament announcing a debate on updated plans for building it.
A motion has been laid instructing the HS2 Select Committee to consider more than 120 changes the Government wants to make to the hybrid Bill. The amendments are the direct result of discussions between HS2 Ltd and communities along the London-Birmingham route.
Among the amendments to be put to the Committee are:
- changes to the HS2 route near Lichfield, which mean the railway will now pass under the A38, the West Coast Main Line and the South Staffordshire line rather than run over them on viaducts – this will avoid the need for two crossings over the Trent and Mersey Canal, which had previously been of concern to local stakeholders, including the Canal and Rivers Trust
- altering the proposals for the relocation of the existing Heathrow Express depot at Old Oak Common to Langley near Slough, instead of the North Pole East depot site currently proposed in the bill
- the construction of sidings to the west of the Old Oak Common station, which could facilitate a future connection between Crossrail and the West Coast Main Line, if needed
In addition, many petitioners made a case for small-scale changes to the bill – also included in the amendments is the construction of a bypass for Chipping Warden in Northamptonshire.
According to the Government, the hybrid Bill remains on track to achieve Royal Assent by the end of 2016.