Go to content

HS2 and the Integrated Rail Plan

The Integrated Rail Plan (IRP), published on 18 November 2021, sets out the government’s proposals to transform the rail network in the North and Midlands.

The Plan follows the independent Oakervee review of HS2 published in February 2020, which concluded that the Government needs to consider Phase 2b of HS2 (the routes to Manchester and Leeds) as part of an integrated plan.

The plan outlines how major rail projects, including HS2 Phase 2b, Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Rail Hub, will be delivered so that communities, towns and cities across the North and Midlands are better connected with more frequent, reliable and greener services and faster journey times.

In respect of the HS2 project the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan sets out the following proposals:

  • complete HS2 from Crewe to Manchester, with new stations at Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly.  A hybrid Bill for the route from Crewe to Manchester will be deposited, which will seek the legal powers to construct and operate the new high-speed railway.
  • a new high-speed line between Birmingham and East Midlands Parkway. Trains will continue to central Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield on an upgraded and electrified Midland Main Line
  • the government will progress options to complete the Midlands Rail Hub and spend £100 million to look at how best to take HS2 trains to Leeds, including assessing capacity at Leeds station and starting work on the West Yorkshire mass transit system.

Read more about the UK Government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP)

Frequently asked questions about the Integrated Rail Plan

Can I have more information about when changes will happen?

The Government has now published its Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands.

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 will ensure that affected residential property owners retain access to the various support schemes.

Our published guidance sets out what those schemes are. If you would like help in understanding what that means for you or have any other questions please contact our Helpdesk.

Find out more about our property assistance schemes.

Find out more information about HS2 safeguarding.

Does HS2 still require my property?

Depending on the outcome of further development work, the government will consider updating safeguarding, and the land it wants to protect for construction of the railway, as required.

Safeguarding Directions are kept under review anyway and are updated periodically to reflect the latest route design. They can be removed if necessary. Safeguarding can apply route-wide or in specific locations (which we refer to as spot safeguarding).

Where any land has been acquired compulsorily, or via statutory blight, for the construction of the railway and is no longer required for the satisfactory completion of the works, or not required in connection with the operation of HS2, it will be sold subject to the Crichel Down Rules. These require government departments, under certain circumstances, to offer back surplus land to the former owner or the former owner’s successors at the current market value.

HS2 bought my property. Do they still need it and can I buy it back?

All property that has been acquired so far will continue to be managed by HS2 Ltd until the conclusion of the further development work set out in the Integrated Rail Plan.

Where any land has been acquired compulsorily, or via statutory blight, for the construction of the railway and is no longer required for the satisfactory completion of the works, or not required in connection with the operation of HS2, it will be sold subject to the Crichel Down Rules.

I was in safeguarding. Am I still in safeguarding? It seems that HS2 will no longer be built in my area?

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.

Our published guidance sets out what those schemes are. If you would like help in understanding what that means for you or have any other questions please contact our Helpdesk.

I have an application with HS2 at the moment. What does this mean for my application?

If you own property along the HS2 route you will continue to be in safeguarding and have access to the full range of HS2 property schemes that are currently available, unless and until different plans are confirmed. If this were to be the case, any applications already submitted would still be progressed.

What if safeguarding changes in the future? What will this mean for my property? When would you let me know about any changes?

At this time, we do not expect any changes to safeguarding, or to eligibility for these schemes, unless and until different plans are confirmed. Our published guidance sets out what those schemes are. If you would like help in understanding what that means for you or have any other questions please contact our Helpdesk.

Are there any changes to the HS2 discretionary schemes (Need to Sell & Rural Support Zone) for this section of the route?

If you own property along the HS2 route you will continue to be in safeguarding and the Rural Support Zone and have access to the full range of HS2 property schemes that are currently available, unless and until different plans are confirmed.

Further information regarding the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan

If you have a query or would like further information regarding the content of the Integrated Rail Plan, please contact the Department for Transport using the appropriate details below:

Further information can be found on the Department for Transport website.

If you have a question about HS2, our Helpdesk remains operational all day, every day. You can contact the Helpdesk by: