High Speed Two (HS2) is the Government’s proposal for a high speed north-south railway. The scheme is being taken forward in two phases:
- Phase One will connect London with Birmingham and the West Midlands
- Phase Two will extend the route to Manchester and Leeds.
The focus of Warwickshire County Council’s role on HS2 is to scrutinise the implications of the scheme and develop
protection and mitigation around planning, highways, traffic and transport, public rights of way, historic environment, and ecology.
The Government’s HS2 hybrid bill legislation is currently progressing through Parliament, and MP’s have voted in favour of the scheme at its Second Reading to effectively agree HS2 in principle. The county council, along with many other local authorities and organisations along the route, submitted a petition last May to address a range of concerns with the scheme, these were put before a select committee which has the power to recommend amendments to the bill.
Warwickshire’s HS2 Select Committee hearing
Warwickshire County Council and North Warwickshire Borough Council put their cases to Parliament in a bid to secure a better deal for communities from HS2. The two local authorities appeared before the HS2 Select Committee between 27 and 28 October seeking measures to mitigate the impact of the high speed railway. The county council and borough council submitted evidence to MP’s on a range of issues contained in their petitions, which are available on the Parliamentary website.
The full transcripts
Accompanying evidence slides
The HS2 Select Committee will make recommendations at a future date. During the appearance agreement was reached on a variety of petition issues, including £3.5million funding towards a new primary school at Water Orton, the introduction and staffing of a Special Management Zone for North Warwickshire, better traffic management and works for the A446 road near Coleshill, improvements for Kenilworth Greenway, a new cycle bridge over the Fosse Way at Offchurch, and a green bridge at Wormleighton.
Select Committee news
HS2 environmental case ‘decient’
The chair of the Parliamentary HS2 select committee has made a key statement on route-wide petition issues to pave the way for communities to challenge HS2 Ltd.
In his comments during the HS2 petition hearings at Westminster, Mr Robert Syms MP said: “On the Environmental Statement, we found the session with Warwickshire County Council very useful in clarifying expectations and allowing certain helpful explanations and positions to be put on record.”
These comments relate to a submission by Nathalie Lieven QC, on behalf of Warwickshire County Council, to the select committee on October 28. In the submission, Ms Lieven outlined the county council’s concerns about the accuracy of the initial Environmental Statement data and the risk posed to petitioners because of the deciencies contained in HS2’s original document.
Current HS2 timeline
2015 – Phase Two route conrmation
2016 –Target date for Royal Assent (Phase One)
2017 – Start of Phase One construction
2019 – Deposit of Phase Two Hybrid Bill
2021 – Target date for Royal Assent (Phase Two)
2033 – Phase Two opening
2024/25 – Start of Phase Two construction
2026 – Phase One opening
HS2 Hybrid bill additional provisions
In November 2013 the Government deposited the hybrid Bill in Parliament to provide powers to build, operate and maintain the first phase of High Speed Two (HS2). The Government has recently deposited a further set of documents, known as Additional Provisions, which would authorise changes to the Bill proposals. There are a total of 15 additional provisions which affect Warwickshire.
The county council has issued a response to the consultation on the Additional Provision
changes to the main HS2 Environmental Statement, which closed on November 14:
Warwickshire County Council’s response to the HS2 Phase One Additional Provision (September 2014) Environmental Statement Consultation.
HS2 community and business support funds launched
The Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) will make up to £30 million available for residents and local communities between London and Birmingham to invest in public projects such as the refurbishment of local community centres, nature conservation and measures to support
local economies and employment.
The CEF will support local projects that bring community and environmental benets to areas aected by HS2. Part of the pot will fund small scale community projects, the remainder will fund larger schemes that have third party or match funding.
The BLEF will invite business groups to bring forward projects that will maintain business activity and employment in their local communities.
The not-for-prot charity New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) will be working with HS2 Ltd to ensure the funds are delivered in the most eective way possible. Detailed eligibility and application criteria for the fund will be published in 2015, and the fund will not open until the construction phase begins in 2017.
Phase Two news
HS2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins launched his second report on HS2, Rebalancing Britain: From HS2 towards a
national transport strategy.
The report sets out recommendations to maximise the benets of HS2 and to greatly improve east/west connectivity
across the north, and outlines the delivery of a hub at Crewe be accelerated to 2027 instead of 2033 and that Leeds station be remodelled to cater for future growth.
The report proposes:
• the strategic proposal for the phase two route is correct
• substantial improvements in east/west connectivity across the north
• creation of a new joint body made up of the major local authorities across the north
New interactive map published
HS2 Ltd has published a new interactive map to help people navigate the plans for the new railway:
The map has been designed to visualise where the new high speed line is proposed to go. Sections of the route may be subject to design renements, and the line shown may change alignment depending on the outcome of future consultations, but it will remain up to date with the current and most accurate information.
High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill House of Commons Stages of the bill
High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill, what you need to know
HS2 Ltd information papers
Warwickshire County Council briefings
Warwickshire County Council petition
Warwickshire County Council HS2 Project Team: