HS2 rail service route to Manchester confirmed

  • Plans in second phase of controversial HS2 rail project have confirmed the route will extend to connect Crewe to Manchester

Transport bosses have decided that the HS2 route will continue north of Crewe to a new HS2 station at Manchester Airport and then on to Manchester city centre, where a new HS2 station will be built next to Manchester Piccadilly.

The Department for Transport have estimated that on the HS2 route a journey between Manchester and London will take 1 hour 7 minutes, compared to the current time of 2 hours 7 minutes.

The same Department for Transport report says a new HS2 station at Manchester Piccadilly will offer considerable opportunities for development and regeneration in and around the site, supporting jobs and housing.

The growth strategy for Piccadilly will look to develop frameworks already in place to transform Manchester Piccadilly station into a world class transport interchange for Greater Manchester. Through working with Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2 will greatly improve transport links with other Northern cities and add economic benefits.

The development of Piccadilly could also support 4,500 new homes and over 700,000sqm of commercial and retail space.

Alongside the development of Piccadilly, the planned Mayfield Regeneration Project will seek to create 6,500 new jobs and 1,330 new homes.

Government’s Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is describing the project as “planning for the future and investing in world class transport infrastructure to ensure that the UK can seize opportunities and compete on the global stage.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said, "Today’s announcement is welcome confirmation that Greater Manchester will play a key role in HS2, and become a hub for rail improvements that will help support a sound economic future for the whole of the north through Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“This should be seen as a reinforcement in the confidence of the region’s economic potential and these infrastructure improvements are the tools we need reach unlock that latent energy.

“We’ll continue to work closely with government to help support the project and begin to drive the major transformational projects that will support HS2 in Greater Manchester.”

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) estimates that the reduced travel times and further increases to business productivity will bring up to 180,000 new jobs to the region by 2040.

Greater Manchester Mayor Tony Lloyd said, "The confirmation of HS2’s route to Greater Manchester is a major milestone and will be welcomed by people across our region.  It is now vital that HS2 becomes a reality as soon as possible. 

“This announcement shows the Government has heard the voices from the North that demanded this project go ahead without delay.

“Our plans for growth linked to HS2 can now start to become a reality, delivering real benefits for the people of Greater Manchester. 

“I hope today’s announcement will be followed shortly by progress on Northern Powerhouse Rail which will connect the cities of the North.  If the Government is serious about rebalancing our economy this infrastructure investment in the North is critical.”

Phase 2b of HS2, taking the high-speed line to Manchester, is expected to be complete by 2033.