UPDATE 19th November 2021
Long awaited 'Integrated Rail Plan' published
Yesterday the Government published its Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) for delivering and sequencing major rail investment in the North and Midlands. This plan sets out how improvements to rail services will be delivered including high speed services and upgrades to existing lines.
The Government have committed to the following improvements:-
- Building of 3 new high speed lines
- Crewe to Manchester (HS2)
- West Midlands to East Midlands Parkway (HS2 East)
- Warrington, Manchester and Yorkshire (NPR)
- Electrification and upgrade on three existing main lines
- Transpennine Between Manchester, Leeds and York
- Midland Main line from London between Market Harborough and Sheffield
- East Coast Main Line
Implications for Leicestershire
The IRP gives limited detail on the exact location of the high speed line planned to connect Birmingham to the East Midlands (HS2 East), but states the line will be built from the West Midlands with trains stopping at East Midlands Parkway. It says that high speed trains will continue on the Midland Main Line (MML) direct to Derby and Nottingham stations.
The IRP also states there will be full electrification of the MML between London and Sheffield. A large section of the MML runs through Leicestershire. From previous work with Network Rail, we understand that this electrification will require changes to some road bridges which cross the line, and new electricity supplies and associated substations.
The IRP outline delivery timetable (pages 133 and 134 of the IRP) appears to show:-
- delivery of electrification of the MML northward from Harborough – late 2020's
- delivery of HS2 West to East Midlands – late 2030's
Timescales are not defined, but a hybrid Bill deposit for HS2 through Leicestershire is stated to follow on from the Western Leg Phase 2b Bill (due to be deposited early 2022). This could mean a hybrid Bill for Leicestershire is deposited around 2024/5. The LCC HS2 service area will seek further clarification on this from HS2 Ltd.
- There are no detailed plans for the East Midlands Parkway area, but it appears that this will be a stop for some high speed services as the IRP states "for HS2 to serve East Midlands Parkway" (paragraph 3.37) and "A shuttle could also operate from Toton to the HS2 stop at East Midlands Parkway" (paragraph 3.38) on pages 81 and 82.
- The IRP outlines a commitment to work with the Midlands Connect Rail Hub proposals, but there are no details (i.e. the Leicester to Coventry line improvements).
- No mention of the Ivanhoe (Burton-Leicester) Line in context of either the IRP or recent DFT restoring your railway fund announcements (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/restoring-your-railway-fund).
- There is no detail from the outcome of the 2019 Design Refinement Consultation (i.e. no more detail on Ashby Rail Head or the realignment of HS2 through Lount)
- The IRP implies new paths on the MML and more frequent services but does not quantify what this could mean (para 3.39).
We will be taking stock of the contents of the IRP document and will be in touch in the new year with further updates, however if you have any questions in the interim please contact Community.Focus@nwleicestershire.gov.uk for more details. You could also contact us on email@example.com
Alternatively you can contact HS2 Ltd directly at HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk and see updates on their website.
Leicestershire County Council HS2 Service Area
HS2 Map (PDF, 58 Kb)
HS2 Map showing route through our Parish
HS2 has announced it proposed route.
The Parish Council have invited representatives from HS2 to their meeting to obtain information regarding the route, and the implications to the Parish. Whilst there is still ongoing debate as to whether it will commence or not, the Parish Council felt that they should ensure that they cover the bases, and respond to the recent consultation.
A copy of our response to HS2 is below.