HS2 Eastern Leg updates

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quantinghome

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If news reports are to be believed it appears the HS2 eastern leg has been given the go-ahead:

HS2 will go to Leeds, promises transport secretary Grant Shapps - Leeds Live (leeds-live.co.uk)

... speaking at an online event for the Policy Exchange think tank on Thursday, Mr Shapps said it will be finished in full.

He said: “We are going to complete HS2 and include HS2 on the eastern leg to Leeds.

“And the only question that we have is how to better integrate that with plans which were developed a very long way since HS2 was first dreamt up all those decades ago and that pertains to the Northern Powerhouse Rail.”

He said that while it was originally thought the benefits of HS2 would come by 2040 or 2050, “we think we could bring that forward quite dramatically by building it in a smarter way”.

Sounds pretty definitive - doesn't sound as if they are preparing to row back on it.
 
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WatcherZero

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He was asked in committee whether they would still do it and he said yes, its not the same as an official green light of the spending but its encouraging insight into government thinking.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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If news reports are to be believed it appears the HS2 eastern leg has been given the go-ahead:
HS2 will go to Leeds, promises transport secretary Grant Shapps - Leeds Live (leeds-live.co.uk)
Sounds pretty definitive - doesn't sound as if they are preparing to row back on it.
That's good news, but the "go-ahead" is not in the same league as the parliamentary go-ahead of London-Birmingham-Lichfield and Lichfield-Crewe.
Crewe-Manchester will also go through its parliamentary phase this year and next.
It will take quite a number of years to bring the eastern leg up to the same level of definition, not least because it will ignite fresh debate about the NPR route which will be linked with it.
We badly need the Integrated Rail Plan!
 

Bald Rick

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He’s probably right. I’m willing to bet that he didn’t say when though.
 

Pit_buzzer

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Strange that the unit in the photo of shapps in Leeds still has the old northern by arriva logo on the side.
And it could go to Leeds without the Eastern leg being built if it goes via Manchester
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Strange that the unit in the photo of shapps in Leeds still has the old northern by arriva logo on the side.
And it could go to Leeds without the Eastern leg being built if it goes via Manchester

But that raises the old argument as to whether the HS2 station at Manchester Piccadilly should be a through, rather than a terminal, station.
 

59CosG95

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I'm fairly hopeful that the connection near Ulleskelf to the NOC route (and thence the ECML) is still going ahead as a result of this decision. Glad the OLE main steelwork there looks capable of over 125mph then!
 

quantinghome

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Strange that the unit in the photo of shapps in Leeds still has the old northern by arriva logo on the side.
And it could go to Leeds without the Eastern leg being built if it goes via Manchester
The announcement specifically talked about the eastern leg to Leeds. We've covered in some detailed previously why the via Manchester option wouldn't work.
 

SilverP

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From the BBC.

"We are going to complete HS2 and include HS2 on the eastern leg to Leeds," he said.

Mr Shapps suggested the eastern leg to Leeds originally scheduled for completion between 2035 and 2040 could be brought forward "quite dramatically" by building it "in a smarter way".

He said the government would provide further information on that "soon".

A smarter way...
 
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ABB125

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The HS2 high speed rail network's eastern leg, linking Birmingham to Leeds, will go ahead and could even be delivered earlier than planned, the transport secretary has said. But further work was needed on how to integrate it with plans for northern powerhouse rail, said Grant Shapps.
BBC article on the HS2 announced. I can't copy any more, because I'm on my phone.
 
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BBC still being dishonest about the "106Bn pound price tag." (Notwithstanding they don't understand the difference between budget and cost.) Let me just grind a few more mm off my teeth.

Anyone that wants the watch the Shapps speech unspun, it's on YouTube (it's wide ranging beyond just HS2 & Rail) though it isn't exactly riveting...

 

ABB125

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BBC still being dishonest about the "106Bn pound price tag." (Notwithstanding they don't understand the difference between budget and cost.) Let me just grind a few more mm off my teeth.
And the wording of the article suggests that the eastern leg alone will cost £106 billion. Very accurate...
 
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If they keep reporting it often enough, then I guess over time the effects of inflation will mean it eventually become true for the out-turn cost. If there's enough die hard NIMBY's are still around, no doubt to a chorus of "we told you so."
 

LNW-GW Joint

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With umpteen billions being shaken off the magic money tree every few months for Covid and its impact, I think the public is inured to big government numbers now.
Two years ago 106 billion seemed a uniquely stupid number, now it's just one of many stupid numbers...
 

Chris125

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Sounds pretty definitive - doesn't sound as if they are preparing to row back on it.

He doesn't say they are going to build it as previously planned, talk of 'sooner' and 'smarter' may just mean cheaper and significantly descoped - as proposed by the NIC.
 

The Ham

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BBC still being dishonest about the "106Bn pound price tag." (Notwithstanding they don't understand the difference between budget and cost.) Let me just grind a few more mm off my teeth.

Anyone that wants the watch the Shapps speech unspun, it's on YouTube (it's wide ranging beyond just HS2 & Rail) though it isn't exactly riveting...


Thanks for the link.

As someone involved in transport policy (delivering the policy, rather than making it) it was probably more interesting than it may have been for others.

Interestingly, and relevant to the wider subject of this thread (although not necessarily directly linked, but does explain why the eastern leg had been given the go-ahead) the point was made that actual rather than reducing the desire to travel video calls may actually increase people's desire to travel.

If that is the belief of those within government then it makes sense to them to progress with the Eastern Leg.

He doesn't say they are going to build it as previously planned, talk of 'sooner' and 'smarter' may just mean cheaper and significantly descoped - as proposed by the NIC.

Whilst such alarm bells should sound, it could be that with a desire to actual show process that there could be things which could be done which could aid in speeding up the delivery with limited impact on the final outcome.

As such, and is often the case, the devil is in the detail and once we have that then we'd be in a better position to know how much we need to fear this.
 
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Mollman

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From the BBC.

"We are going to complete HS2 and include HS2 on the eastern leg to Leeds," he said.

Mr Shapps suggested the eastern leg to Leeds originally scheduled for completion between 2035 and 2040 could be brought forward "quite dramatically" by building it "in a smarter way".

He said the government would provide further information on that "soon".

A smarter way...
I wonder if 'Smarter Way' = new line from Brum - East Midlands (either Parkway or Toton) then upgraded Erewash Valley Line to Sheffield before joining new line to Leeds / ECML as a phase 1 with the missing link build as a phase 2.
 

Chris125

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Growing evidence that the Eastern Leg will be - at best - significantly descoped unfortunately, with Andy Street changing his tune regarding the full project and Mark Thurston confirming that no planning work is currently underway.

HS2’s eastern leg ‘not needed’, says West Midlands mayor

Andy Street said the business case for connecting Midlands towns was ‘substantially better’ than for HS2

The mayor of the West Midlands has said that the eastern leg of HS2 from Birmingham to Leeds does not need to be built in full and called on the government to focus on better connecting towns in the Midlands instead.

In an admission to the House of Commons cross-party transport committee yesterday, Andy Street said the eastern route of Phase 2b of the high speed line is not needed for “West Midlands business to get what it needs”.

The Conservative mayor has previously been a vocal supporter of the entire HS2 project.

Mark Thurston

HS2 Ltd chief executive Mark Thurston, who also attended the committee hearing, which was being held in Birmingham, admitted that no work was being done on planning the eastern leg of Phase 2b.

Thurston said the Department for Transport had asked the project to focus on the western route, which he said was now seen as a separate project to the eastern leg.

He said that the eastern leg would “play out in the fullness of time” and he expected it to be included in the IRP “in some fashion”.
 
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There's some serious spinning going on there in the reportage. If you can spare the nearly two hours needed to sit through it dear reader, I suggest listening to what Street and Thurston actually said (in context) rather than relying on "quote mining" by partisan press. Anyone that interested can find it here...

 
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hwl

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There's some serious spinning going on there in the reportage. If you can spare the nearly two hours needed to sit through it dear reader, I suggest listening to what Street and Thurston actually said (in context) rather than relying on "quote mining" by partisan press. Anyone that interested can find it here...

The priority is to land Phase 2b west which is at least 2 years ahead of Phase 2b east in planning and design terms.

No surprise that Street wants government funding for the big local wish list.

Local WM scheme BCR might be better, but the total B from HS2 will be bigger
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I'm still listening to it, but Andy Street was just giving his view from the West Midlands that links to the East Midlands (Notts, Derby, Leics) were more critical than further northeast.
He is also clearly expecting a funding crisis and wants to ensure that the East Midlands link makes the cut.
Finishing both legs of the Y is still the rationale behind the business case.

The other thing coming from Mark Thurston is that he's expecting Phase 1 opening to be just Old Oak-Curzon St (ie a captive HS2 service).
He's then expecting the next step to be extension to Crewe and onto the NR network, after completion of Phase 2a.
So the northern end of Phase 1 (Birmingham Interchange to Lichfield) might see little use if there is a significant time gap in construction of Phase 2a to Crewe.
Thurston does seem to have all the facts to hand. In fact an impressive pair.

Street also wants Birmingham-Manchester trains to use HS2 at the earliest opportunity, not waiting for the Phase 2b link to open which is the current plan.
 
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Glenn1969

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I'm still listening to it, but Andy Street was just giving his view from the West Midlands that links to the East Midlands (Notts, Derby, Leics) were more critical than further northeast.
He is also clearly expecting a funding crisis and wants to ensure that the East Midlands link makes the cut.
Finishing both legs of the Y is still the rationale behind the business case.

The other thing coming from Mark Thurston is that he's expecting Phase 1 opening to be just Old Oak-Curzon St (ie a captive HS2 service).
He's then expecting the next step to be extension to Crewe and onto the NR network, after completion of Phase 2a.
So the northern end of Phase 1 (Birmingham Interchange to Lichfield) might see little use if there is a significant time gap in construction of Phase 2a to Crewe.
He does seem to have all the facts to hand.
What does that mean for timescales at Euston ?
 

hwl

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What does that mean for timescales at Euston ?
Euston to OOC is about 2 years behind OOC to Birmingham but that is old news.

They have only just started piling the OOC station box where the TBMs will launch from.
 

greyman42

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Growing evidence that the Eastern Leg will be - at best - significantly descoped unfortunately, with Andy Street changing his tune regarding the full project and Mark Thurston confirming that no planning work is currently underway.
I don't think that Andy Street has much clout concerning what happens regarding HS2.
 

Purple Orange

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I think the eastern branch to Leeds (or certainly north of the East Midlands) is still considered to be on the cards like Piccadilly P15 & P16 is still on the cards. Not officially cancelled, just sat at the very bottom of the ‘to-do’ pile. NPR via Bradford is probably very close to it.
 
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