What is HS2?

HS2 is the UK’s new high speed rail network. It is the most important piece of transport infrastructure to be built in generations.

HS2 is shaped like a ‘Y’ and is split into two phases: Phase 1 will link London with Birmingham and Phase Two connects Birmingham with Leeds (the Eastern Leg) and Manchester (the Western Leg).

The true value of HS2 is its ability to connect more people, places and businesses more efficiently. It is not just a fast train to London – and the full national benefit can only be realised once Phase 2 – our phase of the route – is completed.

What is HS2 East?

HS2 East is a campaign backed by those who want to see their local and regional economies prosper – bringing more jobs and opportunities.

We represent many of the UK’s ‘powerhouse’ cities and industrial heartlands across the Midlands, the North and Scotland – and also important emerging rural economies where excellent transport links are an increasingly vital component in future growth and success. Combined the HS2 East region is home for more than 13 million people.

The benefits of HS2 would not be restricted to those places where it will stop. You will not have to travel on the high speed network to benefit from it – it can bring positive change throughout the whole HS2 East region.

It will successfully:

  • Improve connectivity by unlocking investment for vital local public transport that links towns, cities and villages as part of a wider network
  • Create jobs by enabling businesses throughout the region to become more productive, work more efficiently through the supply chain, and attract the best quality workforce
  • Give everyone – from individuals and sole traders to large corporations - more stability by expanding their markets and giving them the confidence to invest in long-term growth

What do we want to achieve and why?

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is conducting a Rail Needs Assessment which will lead to the development of an Integrated Rail Plan for the Midlands and the North. The deadline for evidence submissions to the NIC to support this process is Friday 29 May 2020, with the Integrated Rail Plan due to be published by the end of the year.

At the same time the Government has indicated it will bring forward legislation as soon as is practical on HS2’s Western Leg of phase 2b into Manchester, but given no timetable for the Hybrid Bill that would be required for HS2 East.

This is despite HS2’s Eastern Leg being developed into such a mature state that it is now in a good position so that work can progress to the next stage.

The NIC’s Rail Needs Assessment is the ideal opportunity to find ways to deliver the Eastern Leg of HS2 more quickly and more efficiently, so it can be progressed as the same time as the Western Leg and our towns and cities can enjoy the economic, connectivity and capacity benefits much sooner.

HS2 East’s mission is to make the case for the Eastern Leg of HS2 to the NIC, ensuring it is included within the Integrated Rail Plan for the Midlands and North so it can:

At the same time we will be calling for the Integrated Rail Plan to commit to delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail, East Midlands Engine Hub, and the full Trans-Pennine Rail upgrade. 

It is this once-in-a-generation transformational change to rail infrastructure that will boost growth and unlock potential for people and businesses across the Midlands and the North.