The UK Department for Transport has announced the preferred route for the new HS2 High-Speed rail project in northern England.
The government is investing £32 billion in the project to operate the HS2 network from Birmingham to Manchester, Manchester Airport, Toton, Sheffield, and Leeds to London.
UK Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said, ‘There will be a comprehensive programme of engagement on all aspects of phase two and a public consultation, planned originally for 2014, has been brought forward to begin ahead of schedule this year.
HS2 will be integrated with the existing national railway network allowing cities and towns in England and Scotland beyond the high speed tracks – including Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Preston, Warrington, Lancaster, Carlisle, Durham and Darlington – to benefit also from new connections and dramatic time savings thanks to trains able to use both conventional and high speed railway lines.’
The new Y-shaped rail route from Birmingham will include the construction of 211 miles of new rail track and five stations.
An earlier report had suggested that the new high-speed rail link will offer improved connectivity to the main international airports and the Channel Tunnel, with onward connections to the European HSR network, while the new routes will also be providing fast rail access from the UK’s regional cities to London.
Chancellor George Osborne said, ‘If our predecessors had not decided to build the railways in the Victorian times, or the motorways in the middle part of the twentieth century, then we would not have those things today.’