High Speed 2 is a programme, split into three phases, to create a new high speed rail service from London to Manchester and Leeds, via Birmingham. Phase 1 between London Euston and the West Midlands is due to begin construction in 2017 and open in 2026. Phase 2a, between the West Midlands and Crewe is expected to open in 2027, with phase 2b, completing the full network to Manchester and Leeds, due to open in 2033. The Department for Transport (the Department) is the sponsor of the £55.7 billion programme (2015 prices) and HS2 Ltd is responsible for developing, building and maintaining the railway. The Department’s objectives for High Speed 2 are to enable economic growth by increasing capacity to meet existing and future rail passenger demand and to improve connectivity between UK towns and cities. The Department also aims to encourage additional investment to drive regeneration, particularly in areas around stations.
12 September 2016