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Double blow to HS2 as MD leaves and Hybrid Bill delayed

4 September 2018 | By Jon Masters

Plans for Phase 2 of HS2 have been hit by news of the departure of the project’s managing director, while the Hybrid Parliamentary Bill for Phase 2 has been delayed.

The Government had said that the Hybrid Bill for the Y-shaped Phase 2 to Manchester and Leeds would be submitted to Parliament in 2019. But this week The Times reported that the Bill is now not expected to be submitted until 2020 due to additional consultations and planning required to take account of connections to the Northern Powerhouse Rail project.

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesman has confirmed the adjustment to the Phase 2 Bill programme, stating: “It’s vital that HS2 connects with other major rail projects in the north.”

Northern Powerhouse Rail, also known as HS3 or Crossrail for the North, is a long term programme of improvements to the rail network in the north of England, including electrification and upgrade to the trans-pennine route between Manchester and Liverpool, Leeds and Hull. 

Meanwhile, the DfT has confirmed the departure of Phase 2 managing director Paul Griffiths, who is leaving to take up a new post as programme director on the Metrolinx rail project in Toronto. Griffiths will leave HS2 at the end of the year and ‘plans are now in train’ to find his successor, the DfT statement said.

Griffiths said: “Seeing HS2 move considerably closer to reality has been a privilege and will always have a special place in my career. HS2 is vital for the future of Britain and I will always be proud to have been part of its development.”

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