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The Impact of HS2: The North

Mark Hempshell reports

Following our recent reports on HS2 in London and the West Midlands, in this issue we will look at the impact of the project on the northernmost section of the route including the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West.

Progress so far
Since our last report, the Government has ordered a review into whether HS2 should progress at all. So there is a chance HS2 may never actually arrive in these locations. However, while there has been no significant physical work on this section of the project as of yet, several of the locations likely to be impacted by the line are already seeing development proposals being put forward. These are likely to be firmed up fairly soon and so are quite likely to proceed even if HS2 doesn’t.

The current plan for the northernmost part of HS2 is for the London-Birmingham line to divide east of Birmingham with one line, Phase 2A, running through the East Midlands and Yorkshire with stops at Toton near Nottingham and Sheffield before terminating in Leeds. The other Phase 2A line will run to Crewe where it will terminate temporarily before being extended to Manchester as Phase 2B.

Original estimates suggested HS2 Phase 2A and 2B would have reached Leeds and Manchester by 2033. However, latest estimates suggest that this may not occur until 2040.

There are several HS2 locations to consider on this section of the scheme:

The planned station at Toton, south west of Nottingham, will not be in a city or town centre location. Instead it is planned to be a hub style station, with high speed and conventional platforms, to serve the East Midlands including Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and East Midlands Airport. Derby and Nottingham are working together to acheive a journey time of just 10 minutes from their city centres to the HS2 hub, better linking the two cities in the process. Current plans are that this infrastructure will be in place by 2030.

Wider plans for the area are centred on the concept of a Toton Growth Zone, a 10sqkm area of land close to the station and incorporating the Ratcliffe on Soar power station site which is scheduled to close by 2025. This zone could be the focus for 20,000 new homes and employment land. Five hundred new homes are already planned for nearby in a separate scheme.

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