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HS2 phase 2 route revealed

HS2 phase 2 route revealed

The government has confirmed the routes that the second phase of HS2 will take when the line stretches northwards to Manchester and Leeds.

It will travel to the north-west via Crewe to Manchester and north-east via the East Midlands to Sheffield and Leeds, but the precise details of some elements of the route are sure to prove highly controversial.

In particular, the route will now pass through the newly-built Shimmer Estate in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, which will require the demolition of 16 brand new homes. This is due to a revision of the plans for Sheffield, which will now see trains serving the city centre, rather than the Meadowhall complex on the north-eastern edge of the city.

Speaking to the BBC, Karen Schofield, whose family farm near Mexborough will also be lost, said: "It's the worst possible news that anybody wants to hear, that you're going to lose your family home, which my husband and his brothers... they bought, what, 40-odd years ago.

"There's horses, there's stables, we've provided employment for local communities ... and it's okay HS2 saying they're going to compensate like-for-like... we've invited them to come down here and have a look [at] what we've built up over the years."

Critics of the Mexborough plan include the area's MP, former Labour leader Ed Miliband.

However, other homes will be saved by revisions to the plans, with an adjustment to the line emerging from the tunnel under south Manchester between the airport and the city centre saving around 40 homes in West Gorton, the Manchester Evening News reports. The tunnel has been moved east of its original proposed route, curving northwards before emerging just on the edge of the city centre.  

Elsewhere, transport secretary Chris Grayling revealed it had been decided not to move the line east of Measham, Leicestershire. Instead of this proposal, a viaduct will carry the line past the village. 

A number of elements are set to be the subject of public consultations, including options for building on existing connections from Crewe. This station will be an important hub in helping link the system to parts of Cheshire, the north Midlands, Merseyside and north Wales.

Image: DfT


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