HS2 Bill has taken a big step forward now as it gained Royal Assent. The controversial new railway took over 3 years of Parliamentary scrutiny to receive Royal Assent on 23rd February 2017. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring.
It is estimated that passengers will be able to use the new railway between London and Birmingham from around 2026; services will travel onwards to places like Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Preston and Wigan.
It is the proposed that from 2033, the high speed network will go into the centres of Manchester and Leeds and services will go onwards to places such as Darlington, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“Getting the go-ahead to start building HS2 is a massive boost to the UK’s future economic prosperity and a further clear signal that Britain is open for business.
HS2 will be the world’s most advanced passenger railway and the backbone of our rail network. Royal Assent is a major step towards significantly increasing capacity on our congested railways for both passengers and freight; improving connections between the biggest cities and regions; generating jobs, skills and economic growth and helping build an economy that works for all.
By investing in infrastructure the government is seizing the opportunity provided by leaving the EU to build a more global Britain. We will now press ahead with constructing the railway while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect”
A number of schemes have also been launched for communities and landowners along the route between Birmingham and London to access more than £70 million government funding; including The Homeowner Payment (HOP) scheme. This is available to property owners in rural areas who live between 120 and 300 metres from the HS2 line wherever it is not in a deep tunnel. Eligible property owners can apply for £7,500, £15,000 or £22,500, depending on how close they live to the proposed line.