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Phase 2b: Crewe to Manchester, West Midlands to Leeds

Extending the high speed network to Manchester and Leeds, and beyond.

Artists impression showing how a new Crewe station might look
High speed rail's arrival in Crewe will spark a redevelopment of the station area.

The government plans to present an Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands by the end of the year, informed by an assessment from the National Infrastructure Commission, which will look at how to deliver HS2 Phase 2b, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Midlands Rail Hub and other rail programmes better and more effectively.

Subject to this, the Western Leg of HS2 Phase 2b will run between Crewe and Manchester, connecting to the West Coast Main Line south of Wigan, and the Eastern Leg will connect the West Midlands with Leeds.

View the HS2 route map

Recent updates

We have published updated plans for the Western Leg, which also show the work required to the existing rail network to enable HS2 trains to serve stations to the north of Manchester, including Preston and Carlisle.

You can find out more about these updates and access our new digital exhibition room and navigator tools on our dedicated Western Leg page.

You can find out the latest on the proposals for the Eastern Leg (between the West Midlands and Leeds) on our dedicated Eastern Leg page.


On 7 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 consultation will run until 11:45pm on 11 December 2020. You can find out more about it and access our new digital exhibition room and Navigator tools on our dedicated Western Leg page.

The Secretary of State for Transport has also published his decision on whether to include the refinements proposed for the Western Leg of Phase 2b, which were consulted on last year.


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

Connecting Britain

Phase 2b will realise the full benefits of HS2, connecting 8 out of 10 of our biggest cities, generating jobs and economic growth.

Planning permission to build HS2 Phase 2b

In November 2016, the Secretary of State confirmed part of the Phase 2b route, whilst also announcing a consultation on seven route refinement areas. In July 2017, the government confirmed the route for the next phase of HS2 from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds.

You can view the latest Phase 2b route plan and other documents on the GOV.UK website.

Sign-up for updates

You can now sign-up to notifications from Commonplace, our local community website, to receive updates about our activities.

Sign up to receive updates on the route from Crewe to Manchester.

Sign up to receive updates on the route from West Midlands to Leeds.

Other phases of HS2

Phase One: London to West Midlands

High speed trains will travel between London and Birmingham on 134 miles of dedicated track. They will pass through 31 miles of tunnels and over 10 miles of viaducts, delivering quicker journeys on more trains with more seats. Phase One has a funding envelope of £45bn and will open between 2029 and 2033. Find out more about building Phase One.

Phase 2a: West Midlands to Crewe

The Phase 2a line will run between Fradley in the West Midlands and Crewe in Cheshire. There it will connect with existing high speed services to carry passengers between London and Crewe. Services will travel onward to places like Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Preston and Wigan. Find out more about Phase 2a.