HS2 & Local Connectivity
High Speed Rail
The government announced in January 2012 their intention to bring High Speed Rail (HS2) to the West Midlands. Tens of thousands of people would travel to and from two Birmingham stations every day - in Eastside at Curzon Street transporting people to London in 50 minutes, and one near Birmingham Airport taking 38 minutes. In January 2013 the government announced a further expansion of HS2 north to Manchester and Leeds, connecting some of the nation's key cities and slashing journey times between them. Phase 1 from London-Birmingham is scheduled for completion in 2026; Phase 2 from Birmingham to Manchester/Leeds in 2033.
New HS2 connections from the West Midlands to the North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire were announced by the government in July 2017. They are set to bring a massive economic boost for these regions by increasing productivity and creating new business opportunities. The first stage of £6.6 billion worth of new contracts has also been announced.
An upcoming bill for the section from the West Midlands to Crewe will effectively act as a planning application, with the line expected to open in 2027 if approved by Parliament. Preparatory work on Phase One has already commenced, with major construction starting in 2018/19.
HS2 Local Connectivity Package
The Devolution Deal has a £4.4bn HS2 Growth Strategy to make the most of HS2 arriving in the West Midlands. This includes the Curzon Masterplan in central Birmingham. As part of this Growth Strategy there is a Local Connectivity Package of 20 transport schemes to effectively 'plug-in' the two new HS2 stations to local transport networks.
These schemes include the transformational East-West Metro with Metro light rail extensions to Dudley/Brierley Hill and through East Birmingham to North Solihull and the HS2 Interchange station.