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HS2 Phase 2b: Crewe to Manchester

HS2 Phase 2b will see the high-speed rail network extended from Crewe to Manchester, serving new stations at Manchester Airport (subject to third party funding) and Manchester Piccadilly.

HS2’s trains will also join the West Coast Main Line and serve towns and cities on route to Scotland. This will provide more people across the North-West and in Scotland with direct access to new high speed rail services.

The UK Government has published its Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands, which sets out plans to deliver HS2 Phase 2b, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Midlands Rail Hub and other rail programmes better and more effectively.

The Integrated Rail Plan confirms that the UK Government will continue with plans to build the Western Leg in full. The HS2 Minister has confirmed the government is planning to deposit a hybrid Bill for the route from Crewe to Manchester early in 2022, which will seek the legal powers to construct and operate the new high-speed railway.

2020 Western Leg Design Refinement Consultation

In October 2020, the Minister of State for Transport announced a consultation on 4 proposed changes to the design of the Western Leg of Phase 2b:  

  • the addition of Crewe Northern Connection and changes to the design of Crewe North Rolling Stock Depot; 
  • changes to the design of Manchester Airport High Speed station; 
  • changes to the design around Manchester Piccadilly High Speed station; and 
  • the introduction of a new train stabling facility at Annandale, in Dumfries and Galloway. 

The consultation closed on 11 December 2020 and we await the publication of Minister of State’s response.

June 2021 Western Leg engagement activity

In June 2021, we held a series of engagement events to share information on topics related to the Crewe to Manchester route of HS2 Phase 2b.  This included:

Click the links below to watch back the recordings of the webinars.


In order to ensure that land needed for HS2 is protected from conflicting development, safeguarding has been updated for Phase 2b.

Pending conclusion of the further work outlined in the Integrated Rail Plan, the Government does not intend to lift safeguarding on the previously proposed HS2 route at this time. Safeguarding Directions are kept under review and updated periodically to reflect the latest route design, and keeping the current provisions in place this will ensure that affected residential property owners retain access to the various support schemes.