The Government gave formal approval for the HS2 project to begin its construction phase back in April after an official Government-commissioned review found that the large construction and infrastructure project could cost around £106 billion.
Those against the construction of the HS2 argue the project will lead to mass overspending by the government and is already causing severe destruction and damage to rural areas and wildlife sites.
Activists are calling on the UK government to scrap the high-speed rail project and instead invest in sustainable projects.
Andrew Stephenson, the HS2 minister, said: ‘While the government’s top priority is rightly to combat the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives, we cannot delay work on our long-term plan to level up the country.
‘HS2 will be the spine of the country’s transport network, boosting capacity and connectivity while also re-balancing opportunity fairly across our towns and cities.’
So where is the planned HS2 route and where will the main stations be?
What is the planned HS2 route?
The route for Phase 1 of HS2 has been confirmed and while plans for Phases 2a and 2b aren’t confirmed yet, the Government says they ‘are unlikely to change significantly.’
Phase 1 of HS2, the building of which has begun, will link London and the West Midlands and work is due to be completed by 2026.
The route will run from London to Chetwode in Buckinghamshire, then up to Birmingham and Staffordshire.
Phase 2a of the HS2 route will see a train line built between the West Midlands and Crewe and the Phase 2b will see the HS2 route split, with part of it connections the West Midlands and Leeds and the other part running from Crewe to Manchester.
What London station will HS2 start from?
In London, the HS2 will start from London Euston station.
Other major stations will be in Birmingham – at Curzon Street station which HS2 planners described as ‘the heart of the high speed rail network – Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds railway station.
For a detailed map of the route and to see all the planned stations for the completed HS2, visit hs2.org.uk.
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