The announcement was made today ahead of a series of ‘proposed design revisions’ for the High Speed Railway HS2 project in Manchester.
They are involved with the proposed changes to the planned HS2 station at Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station – the western route from Crew to Manchester – known as the second phase.
Transport officials say the announcement marks the long-awaited progress after initial fears about the future of the stage.
The proposals mean the western part of HS2 will be connected to the planned Northern Power House Rail (NPR) network.
The announced changes include increasing the number of HS2 platforms at Piccadilly and the airport and increasing the crew station plan so that it could be able to deliver seven HS2 trains per hour.
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HS2 said the consultation focused on four proposed revisions to the current design of Phase 2B West, with plans for “technological changes and expansion” at Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly’s HS2 stations.
The number of platforms at HS2 station at Manchester Airport will increase from two to four, and HS2 said an ‘update’ has been included in the station’s design to accommodate future Metrolink stops.
The added platforms will support more speed services per hour by calling Manchester Airport.
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Car parking spaces to the west of the station will be increased
The nearby road network will also be modified to provide second access to the station.
The current design will occupy land west of Manchester Airport’s high-speed station M55 and five and six junctions at Manchester Airport.
As documented with improvements to junction six of the M56 motorway, Hale Road and Hasty Lane will be ‘attested’.
To provide access to the station for public transport, Tharley Lane will be ‘connected across the HS2 via a new overbridge’.
“Finding the right solution to Manchester Piccadilly is an evolving challenge,” the documents said.
The suggestion, HS2 said, would be to progress on an overground, surface station basis, although that could change later in the year when the government’s integrated rail plan is expected to be reported.
According to the current design, the high-speed station at Manchester Piccadilly will be a terminus station occupying two levels of land from St. Andrews Street in the east to Dusi Street in the west – HS2 has released documents.
At Manchester Piccadilly, four to six additional two platforms will be provided ‘to allow future use of the HS2 infrastructure as part of the Northern Power House Rail’.
The plan also includes:
– Move the Piccadilly Metrolink station below the HS2 / NPR station and make arrangements to stop the second Metrolink in the event of a future expansion of Metrolink before Greater Manchester.
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– Arranging the necessary junctions for future connections to Leeds as part of the North Power House Railway. This junction will allow NPR services to travel to Leeds outside Manchester to facilitate future connections from HS2 to Leeds.
– Changing the horizontal alignment of the approach at the station to reduce the impact on existing Ardwick train care facilities.
– Improving the road network around the station so as not to disturb road users and to re-supply highways around HS2.
Transport for the North (TFN) welcomed the news.
Under TFN’s current plan, HS2 and NPR will share 80 km of rail infrastructure.
According to TFN, the proposals published today are subject to the results of the government’s integrated rail plan.
The plan is expected to make further recommendations on the HS2 route via East Midlands and Yorkshire – and for the HS2 station at Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station, and after much controversy.
Tim Wood, Northern Director of Transport for Northern, said:
“Together the two projects will form the backbone of a future resilient rail network for our region.
“But we must make sure that this investment allows for an equal distribution in the north.
“Northern Powerhouse Rail also relies on some of the HS2 infrastructure that is being built to run its trains.
“It is therefore important that the government’s integrated rail plan, HS2 East, pledges the Midlands to connect Yorkshire with Sheffield and Leeds, and to bring forward a plan for waterlogging in the northern soil as soon as possible.”
“Distributing the HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail across the whole together will bridge the productivity gap between North and South and provide the North with the most modern, well-functioning railways as needed.”
Today’s announcement comes just weeks after construction began on the first phase of the HS2 from London to the Midlands.
Mr Wood said the government’s rail plan must give “meaningful consideration” to planned projects such as the Manchester Piccadilly.
“Today’s suggestion marks strong progress and further evidence that these projects have become a reality in the North,” he added.
“The government’s integrated rail plan will certainly provide a clear investment pipeline that will share benefits among communities in the north.
“Proposals for conversion projects to key interchanges at Manchester Piccadilly’s table must also be considered meaningful.”
HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson MP said: “The involvement of the community is at the heart of our plans for HS2 and Northern Power House Rail and we are interested to hear from residents and businesses across Greater Manchester about the proposed design changes to the two local stations.
“These responses alone will inform the Integrated Rail Plan extensively as it not only assesses the need for transportation across the North, but will also provide important feedback on the design changes to the west of HS2, Part 2B.
“Our ambition is to improve permanent rail across the North and Midlands as soon as possible – which means those who do not travel on this line are still standing to benefit future generations.”
On 11 December the public consultation closed.
A series of live webinar events that allow communities to find out more about the proposals and ask questions will be supported by HS2’s Freephone Helpdesk.
Public events are not being held due to Covid-19.
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