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Parliamentary bill behind the first phase of HS2 rail project to be given royal assent

It is hoped HS2 will be in operation in Yorkshire in 2033.

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 £55.7billion scheme is scheduled to open in December 2026, with a second Y-shaped 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.

Warning over potentially deadly batch of drugs in circulation in Leeds

Drug users in Leeds are being warned about a potentially deadly batch of heroin in circulation in Leeds.

West Yorkshire Police have received reports of a potentially strong strain of the drug in circulation over the past couple of weeks.

We would urge anyone who has recently purchased this substance in the Leeds area to dispose of it, as it is possible it is a potentially fatal strain of the drug.

Although drug users think they know what they are taking - this isn't always the case.

We work closely with our partners to make communities of West Yorkshire safer places to live and work.

The police will always encourage drug users to seek help from the number of drug treatment agencies that operate throughout West Yorkshire.

– Detective Inspector Paul Hobson, West Yorkshire Police

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