Go to content

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

The UK Government plans to present an Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands shortly, 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, with a connection to the West Coast Main Line, and the Eastern Leg will connect the West Midlands with Leeds.

In line with its commitment to build back better and deliver economic benefits and improved transport links to the North quicker, the UK Government intends to deposit a hybrid Bill for the Western Leg of HS2 Phase 2b early in 2022 or sooner if possible, subject to the outcome of the Integrated Rail Plan (due to be published shortly).  

To prepare for this, we’ve published new information and are planning to hold several events and webinars throughout July. You can find out more on our dedicated Western Leg page.  

Find out more about the Western Leg of HS2 Phase 2b.

Find out more about the Eastern Leg of HS2 Phase 2b. 

Previous Consultations on the Phase 2b scheme

2020 Western Leg Design Refinement Consultation

In October last year, 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 closed on 11 December 2020 and the Minister of State will publish his decision on whether to include the proposed refinements shortly.   

2019 Design Refinement Consultation

In June 2019 the Secretary of State for Transport launched a consultation on 11 proposed design refinements to the HS2 Phase 2b route.  

Having considered the responses received, in October 2020 the Minister of State published his decision on whether to include the refinements proposed for the Western Leg of Phase 2b. A decision on the inclusion of the Eastern Leg refinements will follow the conclusion of the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands, which the Government plans to publish shortly. 


In order to ensure that land needed for HS2 is protected from conflicting development, the route of HS2 Phase 2b has been safeguarded. You can find out more information about HS2 safeguarding.

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 proposed Phase 2b route plan and other documents on the GOV.UK website.

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

HS2 Phase 2a will extend the high speed rail line north from the West Midlands to Crewe, helping towns and cities across north western England, north Wales and Scotland benefit from it sooner. The Phase 2a line will run from the northern end of Phase 1 at Fradley in the West Midlands to Crewe in Cheshire. There services will join the existing rail network to create direct services to places including Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow. Crewe is also the station for connections to North Wales and Shrewsbury.

Find out more about Phase 2a.