More plans on how to extend the route between West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds have been revealed

Plans for the development of HS2 between the Midlands and the North has moved a step closer as the company behind the rail project revealed more details about the extension.

Two new public consultations have been launched on the Phase 2b route, which will serve communities between the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds.

The 10 week consultations, which close on 21 December, will give communities the opportunity to formally respond to HS2 designs and proposed mitigation measures for the Phase 2b route.

HS2 is looking for feedback on both its working draft environmental statement, which describes the design of the railway and reports on the impacts of its construction and operation, alongside the measures proposed to reduce and monitor these impacts and its working draft equality impact assessment report, which considers the potential effects of the construction and operation of the railway on people with protected characteristics.

Leonie Dubois, HS2 head of consultation and engagement, said: "HS2 is coming to the north and it will reap significant benefits as a result. High speed rail will play a crucial role in rebalancing Britain’s economy; driving business growth, stimulating investment and creating jobs right across the country.

"Through the public consultations, we are providing a more detailed account of how we propose to build the railway and minimise its impacts during construction and operation. We actively encourage people to have their say on the plans we have published today."

Residents and businesses across the Phase 2b route are invited to view the latest designs and respond to the public consultations.

Construction of the phase one route between Birmingham and London is now well underway with 7,000 jobs already supported through the project. When construction peaks, as the full network progresses, that figure is forecast to rise to 30,000.