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

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.

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

The Phase 2b section of the HS2 route will be delivered in two sections:

  • The Western Leg will see HS2 trains run between Crewe and Manchester, with a connection to the West Coast Main Line, serving trains on route to Scotland.
  • Subject to consultation, HS2 East will see a new high-speed line between Birmingham and the East Midlands, connecting to the existing Midland Mainline near East Midlands Parkway. Trains will then continue to central Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield on an upgraded and electrified Midland Main Line.
  • The government will also look at the most effective way to run HS2 trains to Leeds.

In line with its commitment to build back better and deliver economic benefits and improved transport links to the North and Midlands quicker, the UK Government is preparing a hybrid Bill for the Western Leg of HS2 Phase 2b.

Find out more about the Crewe to Manchester route.

Find out more about the West Midlands to Leeds route. 


In order to ensure that land needed for HS2 is protected from conflicting development, the route of HS2 Phase 2b has been safeguarded. 

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.

Find out more information about HS2 safeguarding.