HS2 in Cheshire East
High-Speed Two (HS2) is Government’s proposed new high-speed rail line in the UK.
HS2 is a scheme that is being designed and delivered by HS2 Ltd, on behalf of Government, and funded by Government.
HS2 Phase One – linking London, Birmingham, and the West Midlands – is already under construction.
However, on 4 October 2023, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP announced that he was scrapping the planned Phase 2a and Phase 2b sections of the scheme (Birmingham to Crewe, and Crewe to Manchester).
Parts of these sections would have passed through Cheshire East and delivered significant and long-term economic benefits to the borough and, in particular, Crewe.
You can read the council’s initial response to this announcement.
On 4 October 2023, the Government also published its ‘Network North’ plan which refers to £19.8bn of reinvestment for the North and identifies projects and regions that would directly benefit.
However, the plan includes no mention of investment in Crewe or Cheshire East.
On 20 October 2023, the council wrote to Government pursuing a compensation and investment package that would fairly compensate for the loss of an ‘unprecedented economic opportunity’.
The package of compensation and mitigations the council is seeking includes:
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- Compensation for direct and abortive council costs in relation to HS2, totalling £11.2m.
- Funding and commitment to enable critical investments in Crewe Station, including the commitments secured through recent petitioning, and futureproofing for alternative passenger and freight rail investments.
- Local highway, public transport, and active travel network improvements via both up-front and multi-year transport funding settlements. This includes enhanced funding for the Middlewich Eastern Bypass and A500 dualling schemes, and funding to deliver Cheshire East’s Bus Service Improvement Plan in full, to help transform local bus services.
- Funding to support a programme to tackle deprivation challenges in Crewe to reduce levelling down because of the HS2 announcement, including the continuation of the recent Crewe Deep Dive being undertaken jointly by the Department for Transport and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
- Funding to support the continued regeneration of Crewe town centre and deliver projects that will increase the vibrancy and attractiveness of the area and help restore investor confidence following the announcement.
Page last reviewed: 30 October 2023
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