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MPs to rule on changes to HS2 northern section

Crewe HS2 Superhub by Farrells

MPs are to rule on amendments to the construction of High Speed 2 (HS2) phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe.

The changes are being introduced as part of a second additional provision to the High Speed Rail (West Mindlands - Crewe) Bill, which must be passed before construction can begin. 

A select committee of MPs will decide which amendments to take forward before opening the bill up to public consultation.

Six major are changes being made. These include changes to viaducts, junction layouts, tunnel lengths and power connections.

Two changes have been included after concerns raised by Staffordshire County Councilabout the height of a viaduct and a junction layout. 

In May last year, Staffordshire County Council won assurances from project promoter HS2 Ltd that the proposed viaduct at Kings Bromley near the Trent and Mersey Canal will be lowered, reducing noise levels for people using the waterway.

The provisions document, adds that these changes will also reduce the visual impact and construction costs.

The council’s proposed changes for a revised and simpler Handsacre junction layout, where phase 1 of the HS2 line will connect to the West Coast Main Line north of Lichfield, have also been put forward for official consideration. By doing this the council argues that Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent could use existing and proposed infrastructure to improve rail services.

Changes to Crewe Station are also being proposed including the extension of platform 5 to accommodate 400m-long HS2 trains. The changes are in line with the Crewe Hub vision, published in March last year. Cheshire East Council had been campaigning to capitalise on the arrival of HS2 at the station with a transfer deck over the station included in the vision.

South west of Stoke on Trent, a southern extension of the tunnel at Whitmore is being proposed, to avoid the need for complex surface works where the A53 crosses the route.

Temporary and permanent power supply routes to the Whitmore and Madeley tunnels, to support the operation of the tunnel boring machines during construction and the operation of the tunnels, have also been tabled.

At Newlands Lane a new traction power connection, requiring over 7km of high voltage electricity lines is being proposed. HS2 minister Nusrat Ghani said the changes are needed to give the resilience and redundancy required for traction power on a high speed railway.

Petitioning against the second additional provisions will open on Friday 15 February at 11am and close on Friday 15 March at 1pm.

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