High Speed 2 Receives the Green Light

Boris Johnson has today announced the high-speed railway will form part of a transport revolution and received the green light.

The long-awaited Oakervee report has been published which advises the High Speed 2 (HS2) project should proceed.

The prime minister criticised HS2 Limited for the management of the national infrastructure project, however, this did not detract from the value of the scheme.

The Oakervee report reiterates the primary need for the scheme is for capacity, not just speed, with further recommendations as follows:

Phase 2A – Birmingham to Crewe

  • Consider merging the construction of Phase 2A with that of phase one (phase one is due to be completed between 2028-31)
  • Optimise the design and reduce the costs of the scheme
  • Review the size, phasing and contracting model

If phase 2A is merged this could well see this part of the scheme accelerated, however, will depend if HS2 has the manpower to undertake this.

Phase 2B – Crewe to Manchester & Birmingham to Leeds

  • A further study to be completed by summer 2020 to develop an integrated railway plan embracing Phase 2B and integrated rail connections in the north west/ midlands, with other railway improvements
  • It is proposed this part of the scheme would open between 2035-2040
  • It is likely that any proposals for phase 2B will result in a joined-up approach taking into consideration Northern Power Rail, now referred to as “High Speed North”.

Tom Selby of Rostons stated “The acceleration of Phase 2A to Crewe is understandable however the scheme needs to be managed more effectively as reiterated by the Prime Minister today.

The review of Phase 2B inline with integrated rail in the north west will result in a further delay until the middle of 2020 for property owner and occupiers on the route and is most concerning if further land will be impacted by High Speed North”