HS2 timeline

Waddesdon Manor parkland © Waddesdon Manor (National Trust). Photo: Derek Pelling

Waddesdon Manor parkland

March 2010
Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis announces proposals for a high speed rail network. A new 335 mile Y-shaped rail network would, it claims, bring the West Midlands within about half an hour of London, and deliver journey times of 75 minutes or less from Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester to the capital.

The first phase of the programme would link London with Birmingham and details of the route were recommended by the company it set up in 2009 to advise on high speed rail services between London and Scotland, High Speed Two Ltd (HS2 Ltd).

May 2010
Lord Mawhinney is asked by the Government to continue its review of Heathrow Airport High Speed Rail Access in the context of Government policy which does not include a third runway at Heathrow. 

June 2010
Government asks HS2 Ltd to undertake additional work on connections to Heathrow

July 2010
Government introduces an Exceptional Hardship Scheme – providing assistance for those most severely and immediately affected by the preferred route option for a new line between London and the West Midlands. Lord Mawhinney makes recommendations to the Secretary of State for Transport about access to Heathrow Airport by rail.

September/October 2010
The Secretary of State for Transport visits sites along the proposed London to West Midlands route and commissions additional work for improving the proposed alignment.

HS2 Ltd publishes its high level assessment of the two options for a national high speed rail network. It concludes that a Y-shaped network would deliver substantially higher benefits than the alternative – the 'reverse S'. This would take a High Speed route to Manchester and West Yorkshire.

The Government announces its favoured network option for taking high speed rail north of Birmingham and gives HS2 Ltd the go ahead to recommence work on developing route proposals for the Y-shaped network and report by the end of 2011.

HS2 Ltd publishes its report on options for reducing the environmental impact of their recommended route north of the Chilterns. 

The National Trust are aware of the implications of a route via the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and affecting 4 Trust properties at Coombe Hill, Waddesdon, Hartwell and Claydon.

December 2010
The Government publishes its preferred route for a London to West Midlands route which are to form the basis for the public consultation. Confirmation of link from London to the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds as well as Heathrow and HS1. It also asks HS2 Ltd to develop route proposals for a direct link to Heathrow.

In the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Transport makes particular mention of Hartwell House and the amended route alignment that he has agreed, following revisions to the route undertaken by HS2. 

February 2011
The Transport Secretary launches the high speed rail consultation which runs until 29 July 2011.

July 2011
National Trust and Historic House Hotels Ltd submit a formal response to the high speed rail consultation. This raises objection, in principle to a route that crosses a nationally protected landscape in the Chilterns AONB and will dramatically affect the setting and amenity of a number of its historic properties.  

January 2012
Announcement of the decision to proceed with development of a national high speed rail network

Announcement of the route for phase 1 (London to West Midlands)

Spring 2012
National Trust project established to achieve best possible mitigation for the line. Work started on developing relationships with local community groups and stakeholders, including MPs, Bucks County Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, and Parish Councils.

Government receives HS2 Ltd advice on phase 2 (Leeds, Manchester and Heathrow) route options.

Consultation on draft Environment Statement, dealing with assessment of impacts that includes noise, visual impacts, landscape impacts and impacts on cultural heritage.  National Trust submits representations.

Summer 2012
Engagement programme along phase 1 (London to West Midlands) route on Environmental Impact Assessment issues.

National Trust appoints a team of consultants recruited to help give technical steer for negotiations with HS2 including a landscape character expert, landscape architect, rail engineer and noise expert.

Autumn 2012
Consultation on compensation proposals and safeguarding of the phase 1 (London to West Midlands) route.

Engagement programme along phase 2 (Leeds, Manchester and Heathrow) preferred route, to take on board local views.

NT proposal for HS2 route around Aylesbury confirmed and presented formally to HS2 Ltd.

Spring 2013
Agreed compensation policy in place

Late 2013
Introduction of a hybrid bill to provide necessary powers to construct and operate phase 1 (London to West Midlands) of the railway

Early 2014
Consultation on preferred route for phase 2 (Leeds, Manchester and Heathrow)

Late 2014
Government’s announcement of the chosen route for phase 2 (Leeds, Manchester and Heathrow).

Consultation on Environmental Statement for phase 1 (London to West Midlands)

  • Phase one (London to Birmingham)

Dates according to HS2 Ltd/DfT and subject to change

November 2013
HS2 hybrid Bill, to provide necessary powers to construct and operate phase 1 of the railway, will be deposited. The Bill is accompanied by an Environmental Statement outlining the expected environmental impacts of the railway, the Code of Construction Practice, and Book of Reference outlining landownership.

March 2104
Second Reading of the HS2 Bill, where MPs will vote on the ‘principle’ of HS2 which after this cannot be disputed.

April 2014
Petitioning period begins. A House of Commons Select Committee consisting of impartial MPs will hear from petitioners ‘specially or directly affected’ by the railway of any changes they wish to see made to the railway.

March 2015
Target date for Royal Assent of the Bill before the General Election in May.

Construction period (starts and ends at different times and at different points along the route).

Phase one opens to passengers.

  • Phase two (Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester)

January 2014
Deadline to respond to ‘Consultation on the route from the West Midlands to Manchester, Leeds and beyond’ to seek views on the second phase of the proposed high speed rail route, as well as on the sustainability impacts of the proposed line of route.

HS2 Ltd continues engineering design work, environmental impact assessment and deposit second hybrid Bill.

Summer 2015
Petitioning period for phase two hybrid Bill.

Construction period (starts and ends at different times and at different points along the route).

Phase two opens to passengers.