High Speed 2 (HS2) is a proposed high-speed railway between London and the Midlands, the North of England, and potentially at a later stage the central belt of Scotland.
The project is being developed by High Speed Two Ltd, a company established by the British government. The route would take the form of a “Y”, with a trunk from London to Birmingham, and then two spurs, one to Manchester, and the other to Leeds via the East Midlands. It would be built in stages, with the London to Birmingham section being the first stage. There would be no intermediate calling points between London and the West Midlands.
If the HS2 plan is approved, construction would begin in 2017 with the first trains planned to be running by 2025. At present, the only high-speed route in Britain is High Speed 1 (the Channel Tunnel Rail Link).
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government formed in May 2010 stated in its initial programme for government its commitment to creating a high-speed rail network.
Approximate route of the London-Birmingham section based on the official description, also available as KMLAs proposed in March 2010, the line would run from London Euston, mainly in tunnel, to an interchange with Crossrail, west of Paddington, then along the New North Main Line (Acton-Northolt Line) past West Ruislip and alongside the Chiltern Main Line with a four-kilometre viaduct over the Grand Union Canal and River Colne, and then from the M25 to Amersham in a new 9.6 km tunnel. After emerging from the tunnel, the line would run parallel to the existing A413 road and London – Aylesbury line corridor, through the 47 km wide Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, passing close by Great Missenden to the East, alongside Wendover immediately to the west, then on to Aylesbury. After Aylesbury, the line would run alongside the Aylesbury to Verney Junction line, joining it north of Quainton Road and then striking out to the north-west across open countryside through North Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, South Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire. A number of alignments have been studied, and in September 2010 HS2 Ltd set out recommendations for altering the course at certain locations.
In December 2010 the Transport Secretary announced several amendments to the line of route aimed at mitigating vibration, noise or visual impact. These changes include, at Primrose Hill, north London, moving the tunnel 100m further north, and in west London reducing the width of the “Northolt Corridor”. It is proposed to lower the alignment and create a 900m “green tunnel” in Buckinghamshire at South Heath. At nearby Amersham where two footpaths would also be otherwise severed, at Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire and Burton Green, Warwickshire, “green bridges” would be constructed. Elsewhere, the route alignment would be moved away from the settlements of Brackley, Northamptonshire, and Ladbroke, Stoneleigh and Lichfield in Warwickshire, and also from the Grade I listed buildings, Hartwell House and Edgcote House, in Northamptonshire.
For more information on the impact of HS2 on property prices in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and South Northamptonshire, please contact us on: Tel: 07502 406688