Land on axed HS2 routes will not be protected

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Railway consultant William Barter described the decision as ‘ludicrous’ and an act of ‘spite’.

Under a process known as safeguarding, land on those routes was protected to stop conflicting developments taking place

Land earmarked for the HS2 routes now scrapped will not be protected for potential future expansion of the high-speed railway, the Department for Transport has confirmed.Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that he has axed plans to extend HS2 beyond the West Midlands – to Crewe, Manchester and the East Midlands – to save money.

Under a process known as safeguarding, land on those routes was protected to stop conflicting developments taking place.The DfT said safeguarding will be lifted in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Yorkshire “at the earliest opportunity” to “remove the uncertainty that has surrounded thousands of people along the route”.

Mr Barter said this means planned phases beyond the West Midlands “will never happen”, which he described as “madness”. He said the scrapped Phase 2a – between the West Midlands and Crewe – would have provided “a lot of value for relatively little cost as it’s just a straightforward line”.For Phase 2b – between the West Midlands and Manchester – safeguarding will be amended by summer 2024 to allow for plans under Northern Powerhouse Rail.Readers’ comments: You are personally liable for the content of any comments you upload to this website, so please act responsibly.


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