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HS2 in South Cheshire

HS2 in South Cheshire

Find out what HS2 means for South Cheshire

The Phase 2a section of the route through south Cheshire includes the mainline and two spurs of about 6km. With the boundary between Madeley and Checkley cum Wrinehill parishes forming the southern start of this section the track passes through the parishes of Checkley cum Wrinehill, Blakenhall, Hough and Chorlton, and Weston and Basford, and within the Cheshire East local authority area.

Having passed through part of Barhill Wood the route will extend from Wrinehill in the south to the Crewe urban fringe in the north where it will connect with the existing West Coast Main Line (WCML) via two spurs south of the A500 Shavington Bypass.

The HS2 main line will then continue north and will provide for the future extension of the route to Manchester as part of Phase 2b of HS2. There will be associated works to the WCML to facilitate the new connection to HS2. There will also be works at Crewe Station to allow for additional services running through Crewe on the WCML.

What we’re delivering for Phase 2a (West Midlands to Crewe)

  • Construction

    336 miles (57km) of high-speed track, 2 tunnels, 17 viaducts, 65 bridges, 26 cuttings and 36 embankments.

  • Supply Chain

    More than 100 businesses working on the project already are located within Cheshire and Staffordshire. More than 80 per cent of these businesses are SMEs.

  • Community Fund

    For Phase 2a (West Midlands to Crewe) £5 million in funding through CEF and BLEF is available for communities experiencing disruption to apply for.

  • Green Corridor

    For Phase 2a (West Midlands to Crewe) £2 million was made available through BIF for projects to enhance Biodiversity through the creation or restoration of ecological habitats.

Phase 2a Programme

Ground Investigations

To help us design and build HS2 in the safest and most efficient way, HS2 Ltd need to understand ground conditions along the route. To achieve this, we are carrying out a Ground Investigations (GI) programme for Phase 2a.

The latest GI programme along the Phase 2a route began in November 2020, starting in the southern end of Phase 2a and is moving northwards with over 1,000 investigation sites. This work is ongoing and is to gain further detailed geotechnical information to inform the design development of Phase 2a.  Methods being used include Boreholes, trial pits and cone penetration testing.

Utility Diversions

Before any major construction begins, HS2 Ltd will need to strengthen and divert existing utilities infrastructure. This includes water and gas mains, as well a number of electricity supplies that are in the path of the new railway.

Across Phase 2a there are around 300 utility diversions that will be undertaken. Works started in early 2021, and are expected to take around five years to complete. So far, the utility companies’ contactors have been undertaking ground investigations and surveys.

Early Environmental Works

The Early Environmental Works are to establish critical environmental mitigation and translocation sites. Our design and construction teams are working alongside ecological professionals to secure the best outcome for wildlife on these sites, with 20% of the total new green infrastructure for Phase 2a being created at this stage. This will include works such as ecological mitigation ponds and planting, habitat creation such as grassland and woodland, archaeological investigation, and species translocation.

There will be a compound in the north, centre and south of the Phase 2a route.  These three compounds will service 16 areas and over 80 sites. The compounds will start mobilising in Autumn 2021 with the activity on the identified sites starting between the first quarter of 2022 and the third quarter of 2023, all expecting to be completed in 2024.

Early Civils Works

The Early Civils Works is to construct the off route roads and manage the traffic mitigations and road modifications ahead of construction work beginning, alongside any associated environmental mitigation.

The work includes:

  • Junction improvements at M6 J15/A500 (Hanchurch Interchange).
  • Junction improvements at Wood End Lane/A515 road modifications and carriageway widening
  • Construction of a bridge and associated slip roads across the M6 at Yarnfield Lane, Stone
  • A Phase 2a route wide road improvement scheme across 20 locations.

Surveys to inform this work started in the summer of 2021 and construction for elements of the Early civils Works is expected to start in 2022. As the designs progress this will inform a more detailed programme of delivery.

Advanced Civils Works

Advanced Civils Works will be focused on possessing all the land required that has yet to be acquired and securing and preparing these sites. This will include putting up fencing, setting up compounds, clearing landscape, completing any required archaeology works and final environmental works, building any haul roads and any needed highway access to sites.

The contractor for this work is expected to come onboard in 2022.

Main Civils Works

The Main Civils Works is expected to take over from the Advanced Civils Works in 2024/25. They will be responsible for finalising the details of the designs. Once this is completed construction will start. This will include excavating cuttings, building embankments and the start of tunnelling construction.

As we complete the major civils work our focus will then shift to installing the railway systems including ballast, slab tracks, signalling and power supply. As this stage is complete there will be a period of testing and commissioning of each phase of the railway before any services can start to run.

HS2 Phase 2a newsletter

Read our latest newsletter on Phase 2a

October 2021

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