High Speed 2 (Hs2)

High Speed 2 (HS2)

High Speed 2 (HS2) is the new high speed railway being built to connect major cities in England. When HS2 is completed trains will run at up to 225mph from London to Birmingham and on to Leeds, and from London to Crewe and on to Manchester.

HS2 is to be built in phases.

HS2 Phase 1, from London to Birmingham, has started construction. The first trains are due to start running by 2033.

HS2 Phase 2a will run between Birmingham and Crewe. The final design shows the new high-speed railway lines running parallel to the West Coast Mainline through South Cheshire and the Weston and Basford Parish, terminating just south of Weston Lane. A viaduct near Wychwood Village is proposed to carry the HS2 lines over the West Coast Mainline so HS2 trains can access the Mainline and use Crewe station. Phase 2a is also scheduled to be operational by 2033.

• HS2 Phase 2b covers the new high speed railway lines from Crewe up to Manchester and from Birmingham to Leeds. The line from Crewe to Manchester is proposed to run under Crewe town centre in a tunnel which starts just south of Weston Lane. Phase 2b is in the early planning stages and is currently planned to become operational by 2040.

HS2 Phase 2a progress to date

On 11 February 2020 the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced in Parliament that the HS2 project has the full support of the Government and will go ahead. This follows a review by Lord Oakervee which looked at the overall costs and benefits of the project and recommended proceeding with it.

A Minister for High Speed Rail has been appointed. Andrew Stephenson has responsibility for delivering the project. The High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe) Bill, to authorise the building of Phase 2a, is now continuing through the Parliamentary process. The next step is for the House of Lords Select Committee to consider petitions deposited against it. The Bill is currently scheduled to receive Royal Assent this year.

Parish Council’s position/actions

Weston and Basford Parish Council believes HS2 will benefit Crewe and the surrounding area provided that sufficient HS2 trains call at Crewe Station and provided that the effects of the construction and operation of the new railway on the Parish can be satisfactorily mitigated.

The Parish Council has been working closely with four neighbouring Parish Councils affected by HS2 - Doddington and District Parish Council, Hatherton and Walgherton Parish Council, Hough and Chorlton Parish Council and Wybunbury Parish Council (together the ‘Wybunbury Combined Parishes’) - and with the Cheshire East Councillor for Wybunbury Ward, Councillor Janet Clowes, to monitor progress and respond to issues as they arise.

The Parish Council, representatives of the Combined Parishes and Cheshire East Council, have had regular meetings with senior representatives from the HS2 Phase 2a team over the last five years. Issues and concerns have been raised and mitigation measures discussed. A particular concern was the proposed use of local roads for heavy construction traffic. A petition was submitted to Parliament by the Combined Parishes in Spring 2018 objecting to the original plans. The Parish Council is pleased that the concerns raised have been taken on-board and HS2 is now planning to use a haul road along the line of the new railway, with access from A500, for most of their construction traffic.

Councillor Janet Clowes has recently taken on the role of HS2 Local Community Area representative. In this role Councillor Clowes will be the focal point of communications between HS2 and the Wybunbury Combined Parishes. The Parish Council will continue to liaise closely with Councillor Clowes and to meet with her and HS2 to raise issues that affect our Parish.

HS2 document/website links:

CLICK HERE to see the latest update for July 2020 prepared by Community Engagement Manager HS2a Ltd

CLICK HERE to visit the website of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, the company owned by the Department of Transport which is to build the new high speed railway: www.HS2.org.uk

CLICK HERE to read the latest newsletter for Phase 2a issued by HS2.

CLICK HERE to visit the Government’s HS2 website which gives access to all Government documents relating the new high speed railway: www.gov.uk/HS2

CLICK HERE for Wybunbury Combined Parishes Petition

CLICK HERE for Parish Council’s Summary of the impact of HS2 Phase 2a on Weston and Basford Parish October 2017, updated April 2020

Crewe Hub Station: April 2020

When HS2 is completed it is proposed that two high speed trains each hour, in each direction, will make a stop at Crewe Station, providing high speed services to and from London. The Government and Cheshire East Council are supportive of building a major Hub station on the existing Crewe Station site to enable more HS2 trains to stop at Crewe. This will require significant changes to Crewe Station and the surrounding area.

Cheshire East Council has prepared a Crewe Hub Area Action Plan, the final version of which is due to be issued in Spring 2020. A Public Consultation will be held on this Plan.

Parish Council’s position/actions

The Parish Council supports the redevelopment of Crewe Station to become an interchange Hub between HS2 and the West Coast Mainline, provided that the development of the Action Plan area is done sensitively and that a ‘green gap’ is maintained between it and Weston and Basford, such that the character of our Parish is maintained.

The Parish Council responded to the consultation held by Cheshire East on its Crewe Hub Area Action Plan development strategy in March 2019 and will be commenting on the final draft of this when it issued by Cheshire East.

Crewe Hub Station document/website links:

CLICK HERE for the Cheshire East Crewe Hub Action Plan Development Strategy January 2019

CLICK HERE for Parish Council's response dated 22 March 2019 to Cheshire East's Crewe Station Hub Action Development Strategy March 2019