It has been announced today that Britain are to have a high speed rail network after the Government gave it the green light.
HS2 will be a Y-shaped rail network with stations in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and East Midlands carrying up to 26,000 passengers per hour at speeds of up to 250mph.
It will be built in two stages, the first will see construction of a new 140 mile line between London and Birmingham which will include a connection to the channel tunnel
Once it is completed in 2026 it will include a direct link to Heathrow Airport providing passengers with reliable travel to and from the airport.
The second stage will see lines built from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester with a lengthy wait before it is completed by 2033.
HS2 will mean substantial amounts of time being saved between major cities, Birmingham to Leeds will go from the current journey time of 2hrs reduced to just 57 minutes.
Manchester to London will also see a reduction from the current 2hrs 8 minutes journey to 1hr 8 minutes saving an hour in total.
Cut journey times will be ideal for commuters who spend hours travelling to get to work, it will also mean people can look further a field for jobs.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening spoke today about the announcement saying: “A new high speed rail network will provide Britain with the additional train seats, connections and speed to stay ahead of the congestion challenge and help create jobs, growth and prosperity for the entire country.
“HS2 will link some of our greatest cities – and high speed trains will connect with our existing railway lines to provide seamless journeys to destinations far beyond it.
“This is a truly British network that will serve far more than the cities directly on the line.”
Confirmation of the new network has been one of the largest public consultation exercises that has ever been undertaken.
There has been backlash from local communities that fear the new speed link would disrupt local towns.
Justine Greening has revealed a package that will help lower the impacts on communities and the environment.
The package included a longer continuous tunnel from Little Missenden to the M25 though the Chilterns and a new 2.75 mile bored tunnel along the Northolt corridor to avoid major works to the Chilterns Line.
The announcement of the new high speed rail will no doubt cause problems for people who have been against the proposed plan but once completed it will bring the UK into a new era of travel benefiting everyone around the UK.
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By Amanda Bainbridge