HS2, the developer and promoter of the UK’s new high-speed rail network, has launched two consultations on its environmental impact assessment (EIA) and equality impact assessment (EQIA) scope and methodology reports for the Phase IIa section of the High Speed 2 (HS2) line.
Consultations have been launched to seek the views of statutory and expert bodies on the scope, methodology and overall approach of the assessments for the EIA and EQIA for Phase IIa of the project.
The EIA is being carried out to identify the likely significant environmental effects of the proposed scheme and appropriate measures to limit such effects.
It is reported the EIA will accompany the deposit of a hybrid bill to Parliament that will authorise the construction, operation and maintenance of the Phase IIa section of the HS2 project, which is planned to run between the West Midlands and Crewe.
The EQIA report will be prepared to inform the development of the Phase IIa proposals and identify any particular equality groups that may be disproportionately affected and action that may be necessary to limit such effects should they arise.
HS2 development managing director Alison Munro said: "It is important to consult on the nature and approach of the upcoming environmental impact assessment and equality impact assessment so that in preparing them, we capture the appropriate information to describe the effects of the scheme.
"I would encourage organisations who can provide feedback to take part in these consultations."
It is reported that HS2 will run consultations on EIA and EQIA until 13 May.
The HS2 project is part of the government’s plan to rebalance the UK economy and build a northern powerhouse by providing high-speed rail services from London to the Midlands and the north.
In November, the UK Government confirmed its intention to open a section of the HS2 high-speed rail link between Fradley, West Midlands, and Crewe in 2027, six years ahead of schedule.
In February, UK transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin opened the headquarters for the proposed HS2 project in Birmingham. Approximately 1,000 staff, including engineers and procurement specialists, will be employed at HS2’s premises in Birmingham’s Colmore business district.
The opening coincides with a Commons Select Committee hearing final petitions related to the HS2 Phase One hybrid bill.
Image: HS2 launches two scope and methodology report consultations for Phase IIa of the new high speed rail network. Photo: courtesy of HS2.