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The long awaited integrated rail plan has been published today as part of the Governments £96 billion improvement programme in the North and Midlands. In relation to the North West there are 3 main updates:

  • Confirmation that the High Speed Railway from Crewe to Manchester will continue
  • The Golborne Spur will be reviewed
  • As part of Northern Powerhouse Rail a new High Speed line between Warrington and Manchester is proposed

HS2 Phase 2B will be deposited into Parliament in Spring 2022, this will be based on all the plans that were published some 18 months ago. This is the process to enable HS2 to obtain Royal Assent and ultimately construct the high speed railway. Once the Bill is deposited into Parliament it will open the opportunity  for those affected to Petition against the Hybrid Bill.

The Union connectivity review is considering the case of alternatives to the Golborne Spur and a value for money assessment will published when the HS2 Phase 2B Bill is deposited into Parliament next Spring. It is worth noting that all plans/ documents relating to the Golborne Spur will still be deposited as part of the Bill.

Northern Powerhouse Rail has confirmed as part of their proposals made in 2019 a new High Speed Railway between Warrington, Manchester and Yorkshire is planned The railway will comprise of new-build tracks and upgrades to Liverpool (via Warrington Bank Quay). This proposal will be built via a separate Hybrid Bill.

At this stage the Phase 2B Bill will still be deposited in Spring 2022 and until a decision is made on the Golborne Spur it will still be included in the Hybrid Bill. The integrated rail plan has been promised for over 12 months now and will certainly be well received for those in the East where the spur to Leeds has been shelved, those in Cheshire face further uncertainty with a 3rd High Speed railway in the County.

Tom Selby of Rostons stated “We have been waiting for this announcement for sometime however if anything there is even more uncertainty over the Golborne Spur and those trying to plan for the future or who are part way through negotiations may be put on hold. Anyone impacted by the scheme should still ensure their issues are formally put forward and recorded with HS2”.

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