The UK’s High Speed Two (HS2) has launched a new public consultation inviting people’s views with regard to changes to Phase 2b of the rail project.

The project will create connections between the Phase 2b Western Leg of HS2 in the North West and the proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) network.

The latest move comes after detailed development work by Transport for the North (TfN) on the NPR network, including how it will connect with HS2.

As part of the consultation, communities can express their views on a series of proposed design refinements, which show how the route from Crewe to Manchester is progressing to integrate with plans for NPR.

The consultation, which closes on 11 December this year, focuses on four proposed changes to the existing Phase 2b Western leg design.

It also outlines technical changes and expansion plans to Manchester Airport, as well as Manchester Piccadilly High Speed Stations.

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By GlobalData

HS2 and NPR will together increase capacity on the rail network while enhancing connections between the UK’s biggest cities and regions.

Cheshire and Greater Manchester communities can give their views on various design refinements for Manchester Airport High Speed Station.

They include increasing the number of platforms from two to four, an update to the design of the station, increasing the number of car parking spaces and changes to the surrounding road network for providing a second access to the station.

Further design changes proposed for Manchester Piccadilly Station include the provision of two additional platforms, relocation of the Piccadilly Metrolink station beneath the HS2 / NPR station and making provisions for a second Metrolink stop.

Other design changes include making provisions for the junction, changing the horizontal alignment of the approach to the station and improving the road network around the station.

HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “Engaging with communities is at the heart of our plans for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and we’re eager to hear from residents and businesses across Greater Manchester about these proposed design changes to two local stations.

“Not only will these responses greatly inform the Integrated Rail Plan as it assesses the transport needs across the north, but will also provide vital feedback on the design changes for the Western Leg of HS2 Phase 2b.”