Now that the High Speed 2 (HS2) phase one bill has got Royal Assent, what next for the £56bn rail line?
Project promoter HS2 Ltd said that over the next 18 months it would do more extensive surveys, ground investigations and land clearance along the 220km route.
So far much of this work has focused on stations and in particular the land around Euston in London and Curzon Street in Birmingham. Now the work will branch out into residential areas.
In terms of the most visible pieces of work, Londoners will start to see hoardings going up around St James’ Gardens near Euston; and in the Midlands around Curzon Street. Demolition of the cargo carriage shed around the railway cutting at Euston will take place in April.
“The route is divided into three segments and there will be work right across the route,” said an HS2 Ltd spokeswoman.
There will be a 60m area of focus on each side of the route. The largest environmental survey for the route has already been completed, and is more than 100,000 pages long.
The £11.8bn worth of civils contracts are due to be awarded in early summer. The ‘stations design’ competition is expected to begin in the spring