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Friday 23 June 2017

Queen’s Speech signals green light for HS2 Crewe

Cheshire East Council has welcomed the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the Bill for Phase Two of HS2, from Birmingham to Crewe, will be put before the next session of Parliament.

The Bill will include the right to compulsorily purchase land and for HS2 Ltd to develop applications for planning consent. It is anticipated the Bill could be heard before summer recess.

Cheshire East Council Leader Rachel Bailey said: “This announcement further justifies the business case made out by this council to bring high-speed rail into the borough, together with the enormous economic benefits this project will deliver in support of our plan-led approach to growth and to our partner councils in the wider sub-region.

“I would also reiterate what I have said previously that we wish to see the highest standards of mitigation and compensation for those people and businesses affected by the route.

“We will continue to press for a strategic hub station at Crewe, served by increased HS2 services to and from London, Birmingham and Manchester that will benefit from the station’s unrivalled 360-degree connectivity. In this way the economic benefits could then reach far beyond the political and regional boundaries.

The Bill is expected to be put before Parliament soon so that preparation work for the second phase of the project can begin.

The council will also press for high-speed connections to serve Macclesfield.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the project will help ensure the economy is ‘equipped with the world-leading infrastructure it needs to benefit from the opportunities of new technology’.

High-speed rail will significantly reduce journey times to and from London but its primary purpose is to increase capacity on an already overcrowded network.

HS2 is predicted to arrive in Crewe in 2027 with a further phase – Phase 2b to Manchester and northern hubs – scheduled for completion by 2033.

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