Views on northern section alterations sought until 11 December

The government and HS2 have launched a consultation process over changes to phase 2b of the £100bn project. The aim is to alter the design of the western leg of HS2 north of the Midlands and to improve integration with the proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail network.


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The consultation is recommending refinements in four key areas including provisions for the Crewe North Hub, as well as additional platforms and other changes to HS2 plans at Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly stations.

These proposals are based on design development, ongoing engagement and future integration both with Northern Powerhouse Rail and other transport projects.

The consultation asks for views, based on the information included in the consultation documents below. Responses will be independently analysed and reported, and then considered by transport secretary Grant Shapps, who will decide whether to adopt the proposed changes.

The government is planning to present an integrated rail plan for the North and Midlands by the end of the year.

It will be informed by an assessment from the National Infrastructure Commission, which will look at how to deliver HS2 phase 2b, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Midlands Rail Hub and other programmes better and more effectively.

The consultation closes at 11.45pm on 11 December. 

Summary of each of the proposed design refinements

  Proposed design refnementThe Minister of State is minded to
 1 Crewe Northern Connection & changes to the design of Crewe North Rolling Stock Depot Make two changes to the design north of Crewe to:
  • include Crewe Northern Connection in the design for HS2 to enable the benefts of NPR and the Crewe Hub to be realised in future with more and quicker services to the North; and
  • modify the design of the Crewe North Rolling Stock Depot to provide the required stabling and maintenance facilities for HS2 rolling stock and support the effcient operation of the HS2 network.
 2 Changes to the design around Manchester Airport High Speed station Make changes to the design at Manchester Airport High Speed station to:
  • provide two additional platforms (giving a total of four platforms) to accommodate future service growth and the use of HS2 infrastructure as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail; and
  • update the designs for provision of a future Metrolink stop at the HS2 station; and
  • improve the future road network around the station.
 3 Changes to the design around Manchester Piccadilly High Speed station Make changes to the design around the proposed Manchester Piccadilly High Speed station to:
  • provide an additional two platforms (giving a total of six platforms) to allow future use of HS2 infrastructure as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR); and
  • relocate the Piccadilly Metrolink station beneath the HS2/NPR station and make provision for a second Metrolink stop in the event of future expansion of the Metrolink system to the east of the city; and
  • make passive provision for the junction required for a future connection to Leeds as part of NPR; and
  • change the horizontal alignment of the approach to the station to reduce impacts on the Ardwick train care facility; and
  • improve the intended road network around the station to avoid disruption to road users and re-provide highways around HS2 works.
 4 The introduction of a new train stabling facility at Annandale, in Dumfries and Galloway Include a train stabling facility in Dumfries and Galloway (between the A74(M) and West Coast Main Line), to stable and carry out light maintenance on High Speed trains serving the north west of England and Scotland.