Plan for high-speed rail project set to pass final hurdle

The HS2 project is set to pass its final hurdle today
The HS2 project is set to pass its final hurdle today
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Legislation for the first phase of the HS2 high-speed rail project is expected to pass its final hurdle today.

The parliamentary Bill to build the line from London to Birmingham is due to receive royal assent, opening the way for construction work to begin.

It has had more than three years of scrutiny including a failed eleventh-hour bid to defeat it in the House of Lords last month.

Phase one of the £55.7 billion scheme is scheduled to open in December 2026, with a second phase launching in two stages.

Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe will open in 2027 and phase 2b, from Crewe to Manchester and from the West Midlands to Leeds, South Yorkshire and the East Midlands, will begin operation in 2033.

Construction work on phase one is set to begin in the spring. When the section is completed it is expected to nearly triple the number of rush-hour seats on the route from 11,000 to about 30,000.