HS2 Eastern Leg – minister responds

Artists impression of HS2 high speed train on Edgcote viaduct

The Government has responded to TSSA about the future of the Eastern leg of HS2. Our union received a response from the Minister for Transport, Andrew Stephenson, saying ‘no decisions have been made’ and that we should wait for the publication of the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan.

TSSA wrote to Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, seeking assurances about the Eastern leg. This followed media reports that the route – from Birmingham to Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds – could be shelved or scrapped.

There’s no date for that as things stand. 

Full response from the Minister

Dear Manuel

Thank you for your letter of 3 August to Grant Shapps, about the HS2 Phase 2 Eastern leg. I am replying as the Minister for HS2. HS2 is a key part of the Government’s promise to build back better from the pandemic. It will transform rail travel in this country, build opportunity and boost the economy through regeneration and widespread job creation for generations to come.

I understand that this is an issue which is of great importance to you and the communities on the route. The Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) will consider how to sequence delivery of the whole of HS2 Phase 2b – including the Eastern Leg - to ensure that the benefits of investment are realised as quickly as possible, and to ensure it is integrated with plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail and other major rail projects.

No decisions have been made but I understand the importance of publishing the IRP as soon as possible. Given the long-term significance and magnitude of these decisions , it is important that Government carefully considers the priorities and evidence from metro mayors, council leaders, and representatives from the North and Midlands, as well as the National Infrastructure Commission’s Rail Needs Assessment, ahead of making final decisions. We intend to publish it soon.

Andrew Stephenson MP, Minister of State for Transport'