HS2 Information

HS2 Information

HS2 in your area newsletter: Phase 2a

Welcome to the second edition of a quarterly series of Phase 2a newsletters, covering the section of the new railway between the West Midlands and Crewe.

This newsletter provides you with an update on the work that is taking place on Phase 2a of HS2 and how you can find out more about the project in your local area. It explains the different steps that have to be undertaken to progress the designs of the new railway before we can start its construction. We also share further details on the ways that we manage HS2 construction traffic.


What work is happening?

Our ground investigation programme across the Phase 2a route is now nearing its completion, with only a few sites remaining. The information gathered from more than 1,200 sites will be used by our engineers to further develop the design of the new railway.

Ahead of establishing new habitats across the Phase 2a route, environmental surveys are underway. These inform the designs for over 80 new ecological sites and will also support the development of the railway design.

We are currently taking possession and securing the new ecological sites with fencing. Over the next few months we will start work on establishing the new habitats, such as the digging of ponds and planting of vegetation.

At the end of last year National Grid completed the pylon replacement and restringing works from Handsacre to Kings Bromley. Extensive planning and preparation for other utility diversions is continuing, with surveys and compound set up having started.

Surveys have been undertaken to inform the development of the designs for road modifications, with traffic management and short-term road closures required at some locations. This survey work will continue for the next few months. The designs will then be finalised and shared with local communities ahead of work starting on the roads from the end of this year.


To view more detail on what work is happening near you, visit our interactive map where you will be able to see all current works being carried out along the Phase 2a route.


To receive notifications of our upcoming work, sign up for email notifications: https://engagement.hs2.org.uk/join-mailing-list/







Sharing information with communities

Community information events


We are continuing to offer online one-to-one meetings throughout 2022.


These provide the opportunity for you to talk to us about HS2 activity in your local area. Appointments are now available to book on the following dates, from 10am to 7pm:

  • Wednesday 23 February
  • Thursday 26 May
  • Thursday 31 March
  • Tuesday 28 June
  • Tuesday 26 April

This year we will also continue to hold regular information webinars for communities to learn more about HS2. Our next session, discussing ‘the journey of designing Phase 2a of HS2’. This will be held from 6pm to 7pm on:

  • Monday 28 February

We are currently planning more in-person events throughout 2022, starting with a series of one-to-one meetings in spring at venues across the Phase 2a route. These follow on from those held across 11 locations in October and November last year.


Want to join us at one of our upcoming events?


You can find out more and register for a one-to-one appointment or webinar via the HS2 website at: www.hs2.org.uk/events, or call the HS2 Helpdesk on 08081 434 434.


You can also receive email notifications on HS2 works and engagement events by signing up to our mailing list at: https://engagement.hs2.org.uk/join-mailing-list/



HS2 in the community

Manor Park Sailing Club receives HS2 community funds


Manor Park Sailing Club in Kings Bromley was the first organisation to receive funding from the Phase 2a Community and Environment Fund.

Work funded from club savings had already started earlier last year to refurbish the clubhouse, when they discovered that a new roof was also needed. They successfully applied for £9,735 to help fund this work in time for winter.



For more information about the funds available for communities and businesses disrupted by HS2, the types of projects they can support and how to apply please visit: https://www.hs2.org.uk/in-your-area/community-funding/



There are a number of railway design development stages that take place before we can start building the new railway.



Gaining permission to build HS2 Phase 2a (2016 – 2021)

The journey of designing HS2 Phase 2a started with producing an outline design. This enabled us to get the approval needed from Parliament to purchase the land and build the new railway. Desktop studies, initial environmental surveys and public consultations between 2016 and 2021 helped inform the development of this outline design.

The outline design set out where the railway would go and where we would need key structures, such as a bridge. It also set out the land we could work on, roads we could use and the disruption to the local environment and communities that we would need to manage and minimise.


Permission to develop the designs and build the railway was given in February 2021.



Design development and assurance (2021 – 2024)

At this stage of the design development, we will use the information from our ongoing surveys to develop the railway design further. This could be things such as refinements to the depth of a cutting, height of a bridge or reducing the land we need.


Our engineers will also be establishing the approach to building the scheme whilst following the relevant standards. We will then submit design plans to the local authority for approval – for example, a construction route management plan setting out HS2 use of specific roads.

Undertaking surveys and preparing for the building of HS2 Phase 2a (2021 – 2024)

The outline design identified areas where we needed to protect the environment and create new habitats before we start construction. It also identified where we needed to improve the local road networks to support our construction activity. We are developing the designs of these new ecological sites and road modifications and work will start at various sites throughout the year.

We are also building a more detailed picture of the local landscape and environment through further surveys such as ground investigations and ecology walk overs.





Detailed Design (2024 – 2025)

The designs along with the survey data are now passed onto the contractor who has been tasked by HS2 Ltd to build a section of the new railway. The contractors will review the designs and finalise the way they will build the individual structures of the railway.


This decision will not only look at engineering feasibility but the impacts on the local community and road network. The contractors will also finalise any technical or environmental approvals needed to start building and share the finalised designs with the community.



The building of Phase 2a of the HS2 railway will start from 2025.




HS2 in Focus

This section looks at some of the ways we are building the new railway to ensure that we are respectful to local people and the local environment, and bring benefits where we can. In this edition, we focus on the management of HS2 construction traffic.


Managing HS2 construction traffic



To construct the new railway we need to transport materials and people to and from our sites. This can be disruptive, so we are taking a number of steps to minimise the impacts of HS2 construction traffic to local communities and the transport network.


A route-wide Traffic Management Plan has been produced ahead of HS2 construction vehicles using the local road network. It sets out measures such as how we will monitor construction traffic activity, seek approvals, maintain the condition of roads, and implement safety measures. Our contractors then produce their own Local Area and Site-Specific Traffic Management Plans.


These provide more detail on plans for local road use including timings, routes, restrictions of movements and the strategy for reducing disruption on local communities. All plans are discussed with the local highway authorities, emergency services and other relevant organisations.



Minimising construction traffic on the roads


Wherever we can, we will look to reduce the need to use public roads. Most construction traffic will be due to the movement of excavated materials. As such, we plan to reuse as much of this material as possible in other nearby parts of the project – for example, the building of embankments to minimise the volume and distance of transported material.


Another way we reduce the movement of materials is by using haul roads. A haul road is where we build a temporary road alongside our sites and the route of the new railway for our construction vehicles to use. We are building approximately 60km of haul roads across Phase 2a ahead of main construction.


Our contractors will also look to minimise the movement of their workforce to reduce the number of cars on the roads. To do this, our contractors provide Workforce Travel Plans that will set out things such as how they will maximise the use of public transport and transporting staff to and from sites collectively.



Construction traffic routes


Where the use of the road network is unavoidable, we will transport materials along the lorry routes identified during the planning process. Traffic management to allow survey works.

In planning these routes we use A-roads and motorways where possible. We need approval from the local highway authority for the use of specific roads where we have forecasted over 24 lorry trips from one of our construction sites per day, and will work with them to identify any further steps we can take to minimise disruption, such as avoiding operating near to schools during drop-off and pick-up periods.


Our contractors are also required to limit the hours of site operation, including lorry movements to and from sites. In identifying construction traffic routes, we have also identified a number of modifications to the road network that we will undertake ahead of HS2 construction traffic to improve safety and traffic flows. This includes activity such as widening junctions or roads, creating passing bays and adding new lanes to roundabouts.



Road closures and diversions


We always aim to avoid closing a road. If we do, this is to protect our workforce and people in the community, or because there is no other feasible option to deliver our work. We regularly meet to discuss our plans with the highway authorities, the emergency services, and other relevant stakeholders ensuring that activity across different organisations is co-ordinated and diversions are suitable. We will also ensure there is emergency, business, and local resident access where required and appropriate signage is in place.

Maintaining the road network


Our aim is to leave the roads that we use in the same condition as we found them. In the event of any damage to the road surface or verges because of HS2 construction traffic, they will be repaired and reinstated to their previous condition. Various measures are also taken to keep the roads clean during use. We use hardstanding at site access and exit points, cleaning them at regular intervals and have wheel washes on our sites. We also deploy mechanical road sweepers to clear any mud and other debris that does make its way onto the roads.


Contact us


If you have any questions about this email or HS2, our Helpdesk team are available all day, every day. You can contact them by:


Freephone: 08081 434 434

Minicom: 08081 456 472

Email: HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk

Website: by completing our website enquiry form