Dear Crofters, here is an update direct from HS2:
I’m mailing to update you on the High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) hybrid Bill, let you know about some proposed changes that we’re preparing and to make you aware of events that we’re holding during June and July.
The Bill, which was introduced on 24 January 2022, is still in the early stages of its journey through Parliament – a journey which could take several years.
Subject to the House of Commons timetable we’re expecting its Second Reading, during which it will be debated and voted on by MPs, to take place this Summer.
Shortly afterwards, there will be a period during which Parliament will receive and hear petitions against the Bill from those whose property or interests are directly and specially affected by it.
Public consultations on two reports that were published with the Bill – the Environmental Statement (ES) and the Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) – closed on 31 March. Responses received to the consultation on the ES were analysed by an Independent Assessor appointed by Parliament. A report summarising the issues raised in the responses has been published by Parliament and is available via our website at www.hs2.org.uk/crewe-manchester.
Responses to the consultation on the EQIA are being analysed by a response analysis company and a report will be published in due course.
We are currently preparing changes to some of the proposals put forward in the Bill.
Changes to hybrid Bills as they pass through Parliament aren’t unusual and can be made as a result of design development, new information being received, engagement and discussions with affected individuals and stakeholders, or changes introduced during the Parliamentary process.
You can find out more about these proposed changes at: www.hs2.org.uk/in-your-area/local-community-webpages.
Removal of powers for the Golborne Link from the Crewe – Manchester Bill
Sir Peter Hendy’s independent Union Connectivity Review, published last year, stated that the Golborne Link – the proposed connection from the HS2 network to the West Coast Main Line (WCML) just south of Wigan – does not resolve all the current rail constraints on the WCML between Crewe and Preston and recommended that the UK Government review alternative options.
It is important to get this right for the North and for Scotland. The Government therefore intends to remove the Golborne Link from the High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill. This provides the time to consider the most effective way to find the right balance between delivering the benefits, improving journey times, controlling costs and understanding the deliverability of alternatives. The Government intends to ask Parliament to remove the Golborne Link from the Bill after Second Reading. That means that the Government will no longer be seeking the powers to construct the Link as part of this scheme.
The Government is committed to exploring alternatives that deliver similar benefits to the Golborne Link, within the £96bn envelope set by the Integrated Rail Plan. Options to be explored range from upgrading existing infrastructure to new high-speed links.
The Government intends to maintain safeguarding along the Golborne Link while alternatives are considered. This means you will continue to have access to the full range of HS2 property schemes that are currently available to you if you own land and/or property along the area of the Golborne Link.
In June and July we are holding a series of events for people to talk to us about the Crewe – Manchester Bill, as well as updating communities on the changes that we have been working on for some areas. You can find out about these events by visiting www.hs2.org.uk/events or by contacting our Helpdesk.
You can find out more about the subjects covered in this email at www.hs2.org.uk/crewe-manchester, or by getting in touch with our Helpdesk using the details at the end of this email.
Contact our HS2 Helpdesk team all day, every day of the year by:
Freephone 08081 434 434 | Minicom: 08081 456 472 |Email: HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk