HS2 in Trafford

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High Speed Two (HS2) is the Government’s proposal for a new, high speed north-south railway, which aims to improve connectivity and journey times, creating jobs and supporting the economy.

The scheme is being designed and delivered by HS2 Ltd, on behalf of Government, and funded by Government.

The Government divided the project into three stages, with each stage needing to be approved by Parliament through what is known as a ‘hybrid’ Bill.The three stages of HS2 are:

  • Phase 1 hybrid Bill titled ‘High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands)’
  • Phase 2a hybrid Bill titled ‘High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe)’
  • Phase 2b hybrid Bill titled ‘High Speed Rail (Crewe to Manchester)’

Phase 1 is under construction and Phase 2a construction is planned to start early 2024. Both Phase 1 and Phase 2a are anticipated to open between 2029 and 2033.

Phase 2b included proposals for two new high speed stations in Manchester, at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport, together with a tunnelled section of track linking the two stations.

Trafford Council is supportive of HS2, and believes it would reinforce Trafford and Greater Manchester as the best place to live and do business in the city region, providing that the right level of regional and local connectivity is provided through a new Manchester Airport Station transport hub.

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October 2023 Government Announcement

On 4 October 2023, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP announced that he was scrapping the planned Phase 2a and 2b sections of the scheme (Birmingham to Crewe, and Crewe to Manchester).

The route of Phase 2b would have passed through Trafford, via a new High Speed station at Manchester Airport, before entering a tunnel under Manchester and arriving at its terminus at Manchester Piccadilly Station.

On 4 October 2023, the Government also published its ‘Network North’ plan. The plan refers to £19.8bn of investment for the North and identifies projects and regions that would directly benefit. £12bn of this investment is earmarked to better connect Manchester to Liverpool.

According to the plan this would allow the delivery of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) as previously planned, including high-speed lines.

The design for the previously proposed HS2 High Speed station at Manchester Airport factored in additional platform capacity for future NPR services. However, it is now unclear how NPR will now be delivered.

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Next Steps

The Council is currently awaiting further clarification from the Department for Transport on details contained within the ‘Network North’ plan and its implications, for both Trafford and Greater Manchester, before issuing a response. 

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More information and who to contact

The latest information on HS2 can be found on the HS2 Ltd. website. You can also view the HS2 Bill and associated Environmental Statement documents electronically at Partington, Hale and Altrincham libraries and at the Town Hall. The information is stored on USB memory sticks which are for use within the library/ town hall only and cannot be taken away.

HS2 is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and Trafford Council like residents and businesses is a consultee to the HS2 process. All comments and queries regarding HS2 must therefore be directed to HS2 Ltd.

Trafford Council cannot pass on comments, questions, representations, or petitions to HS2 Ltd. on your behalf. These must be sent directly to HS2 Ltd. and/or the Government via the appropriate methods and contact details stated.