Public consultation on changes to HS2 extension opens
A new public consultation on plans to extend the HS2 high-speed rail line has opened.
HS2 is inviting the public to have its say on proposed design refinements, which show how the route from Crewe to Manchester (known as the Phase 2b Western leg) is progressing to integrate with plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and the wider transport network.
The consultation focuses on four proposed modifications to the current design of the Phase 2b Western leg and outlines technical changes and expansion plans to both Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly high speed stations.
Communities in Cheshire and Greater Manchester are being asked to give their views on a series of design refinements for Manchester Airport High Speed Station, including:
- Increasing the number of platforms (from two to four) to accommodate service growth and plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail;
- An update to the station’s design to accommodate a future Metrolink stop;
- Increasing the number of car parking spaces and adding further car parking on the western side of the station; and
- Changes to the surrounding road network to provide a second access to the station.
Further design changes proposed for Manchester Piccadilly Station include:
- Providing two additional platforms (from four to six) to allow future use of HS2 infrastructure as part of NPR;
- Relocating the Piccadilly Metrolink station beneath the HS2/NPR station and making provision for a second Metrolink stop in the event of future expansion of Metrolink to the east of the city;
- Making passive provision for the junction required for a future connection to Leeds as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail;
- Changing the horizontal alignment of the approach to the station to reduce impacts on the existing Ardwick train care facility; and
- Improving the road network around the station to avoid disruption to road users and re-provide highways around HS2 works.
The consultation closes on 11 December.
HS2 minister, Andrew Stephenson, said: “Engaging with communities is at the heart of our plans for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and we’re eager to hear from residents and businesses across Greater Manchester about these proposed design changes to two local stations”
“Not only will these responses greatly inform the Integrated Rail Plan as it assesses the transport needs across the North, but will also provide vital feedback on the design changes for the Western Leg of HS2 Phase 2b”
“Our ambition is to deliver lasting rail improvements across the North and Midlands as quickly as possible – meaning even those who don’t travel on these lines, still stand to benefit for generations to come.”
Leonie Dubois, HS2’s head of consultation and engagement said: “Our latest consultation demonstrates that we’re a step closer to extending Britain’s new railway from Crewe to Manchester, improving connectivity to the North and delivering on the vision for a cleaner, greener transport network.
“Local communities have an important role to play in informing the final design of the railway and I encourage them to take the time to respond to these proposals”.