1. ITV Report

Plans for HS2 to be published in Autumn

HS2 would see ultra-fast trains running from London to Birmingham on a new line which could be completed by 2026 Photo: HS2

The Government will publish its plans for the second phase of the HS2 high-speed rail project in the autumn, and could include options for stations in the East Midlands, it has been announced.

Other stations in the proposals could be those in Leeds, South Yorkshire, Manchester, and at Heathrow airport.

A report on phase two from HS2 Ltd, including such options, will be received by the Government by the end of this month, Transport Secretary Justine Greening has said.

The report from HS2 Ltd, the Whitehall-set up company considering the case for the line, will also include "advice on the case and potential locations for additional stations", she added.

But to minimise the risk of blight, Ms Greening said she would publish the advice at the same time as giving the Government's preferences.

The Government is already committed to going ahead with the first phase of the £32 billion HS2 which would see ultra-fast trains running through Tory heartlands from London to Birmingham on a new line which could be completed by 2026.

The second phase envisages a Y-shaped line continuing north of Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds with connections further north and into Scotland and which would be completed around 2032/33.

In a Parliamentary written statement, Ms Greening said she intended to publish the HS2 Ltd report in the autumn "together with a Government response setting out initial preferred route and station options".

Ms Greening said that only once a full public consultation had been launched and completed would any decisions be reached.

When the preferred route options are published, the Government would consult on and introduce an exceptional hardship scheme to assist property owners impacted by the proposals, Ms Greening said. She added that she had asked her officials to bring forward formal public consultation on phase two to 2013, and she would set out her proposed timetable later this year.

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