HS2 latest updates
As of Wednesday 4th October 2023, the northern end of HS2 (from Birmingham to Manchester) has been scrapped. No plans have been published as to whether the proposed route will be safeguarded. The 'new' plans appear to suggest that the HS3 work will progress, which likely still involves connecting Warrington Bank Quay station with Manchester - the original route for this was to connect Latchford with new HS2 build near High Legh (close to Abbey Leys Farm in High Legh), though this route required the HS2 link into Manchester that appears to have been cancelled and the latest (somewhat flawed) plan ("Network North: transforming British transport" seems to prefer upgrading existing lines (north of the Ship Canal).
It's likely the position on HS2 northern part will now remain uncertain at best until after the next general election, expected late 2024. The announced sale of HS2 purchased land makes resurrection of the HS2 route somewhat(!) less likely, but there is an awkward business case for rail capacity hidden under the politics & bluster.
The Golborne spur (from east of Lymm, through Agden and Warburton across the ship canal) is set to be scrapped - details below.
Lymm, Thelwall and High Legh are likely to be impacted by “HS3”, planned to pass east -west through Warrington Bank Quay and link with HS2 in High Legh. Details are currently vague…
(8th June 2022) The official announcement on the HS2 Golborne spur: www.gov.uk/government/speeches/removing-the-golborne-link-from-the-hs2-bill
07th June BBC article about the Golborne link: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-61717478
07th June 2022 Guardian article about Golborne link: www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/07/rail-bosses-outraged-as-hs2-golborne-link-quietly-scrapped
06th June 2022 Warrington Worldwide article: www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2022/06/06/controversial-hs2-golborne-link-set-to-be-scrapped/
06th June 2022 New Civil Engineer article: www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/hs2-minister-confirms-dft-is-still-looking-at-scrapping-golborne-link-06-06-2022/
It's likely that a formal announcement on the above will be combined with more details on the route for HS3 (see "HS2 & HS3 link" below).
The HS2 Phase 2b Crewe to Manchester hybrid bill was laid before Parliament on Monday 24th January 2022.
The Integrated Rail Plan (pdf, 11.9MB) was published on Thursday 18th November 2021. There are a number of relevant points for Lymm:
- The HS2 route into Manchester remains
- The HS2 "Golbourne Spur" (passing through Agden and Warburton) appears to remain
- There is mention of a high speed Liverpool to Manchester link, that will pass through Warrington Bank Quay low level station (currently disused) and is expected to join the HS2 link at High Legh. It appears that this will cross the Manchester Ship Canal near Latchford, likely close to or replacing the existing unused high level railway bridge, and cut through the south west of Lymm, crossing to the south side of the M56 to join the proposed HS2 route (the spurs for this are shown on more recent plans). THIS IS SPECULATION - maps have not been published yet.
The Sunday Times on 14/11/2021 had a fair summary of the rumours (this was a poor way for sensitive communications that affect peoples homes to be released).
October 2021 press release from Andy Carter (Warrington South MP)
The UK Government have been undertaking further consultation ahead of introducing a hybrid bill for the HS2b Western Leg (the bit that comes past Lymm, High Legh & Warburton).
There are a series of HS2 events planned, though at October 2021 none of these are direct relevant to Lymm & surrounding areas details are available on the HS2 web site (it's best to filter for 'all' events, and go through the pages - applying specfic filters seems to remove events that are likely to be of interest).
HS2 & Lymm, High Legh & Warburton
The route for HS2 ('High Speed 2', where HS1 is the approach the Folkstone Channel Tunnel) was first published in late January 2013, with the route into Manchester and the spur out of Manchester joining the West Coast mainline north of Wigan passing / cutting across the eastern side of Lymm
HS2 / HS3 link
During the second half of 2020 (during the Covid-19 restrictions) plans started to emerge showing a spur off the planned HS2 route near High Legh (just south of the M56 motorway, close to Kay lane), which is labelled as the HS2 / HS3 link. The proposed route for HS3 (improved Liverpool, through Manchester and onto Sheffield / Leeds) has not yet been published but this spur indicates part of the route, likely cutting through the south side of Lymm / north of High Legh.
Further indications of HS3 route were suggested by public comments made by local councillors and the Warrington South MP Andy Carter, suggesting that the HS3 route would pass 'through Warrington' - the suggestion being that there would be a 'central Warrington' HS3 station. This has subsequently been proposed as re-using the "Warrington Bank Quay low level station", which runs east / west at Bank Quay. Extrapolating this route towards Lymm suggests crossing the Ship Canal around Latchford, close to the existing legacy high level rail crossing (that 'extends from' the Trans Pennine Trail). With a lot of if's, an HS3 route that will use a (possibly very) small section of the Trans Pennine Trail in Thelwall, & cut across the west & south side of Lymm to High Legh looks likely.
In early March 2021 the Warrington Guardian suggested a new major interchange in Warrington, reached via a tunnel. It is not clear what cost analysis has been done on this proposal, this article pre-dates the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and the Midlands (November 2021)
HS2 Works around Lymm
In early February 2021 Kath Buckley of Lymm Parish Council announced following a meeting with "the HS2 team" that she requested, that:
There were acknowledgements of traffic issues through Lymm when the local motorway network experiences issues; there are issues with flooding in Lymm.
The proposed start date for Lymm is 2026; with between 30 & 60 HGV's expected at the construction compounds, plus other vehicles. The working day would be typically 08:00 to 18:00hrs Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 13:00hrs on Saturdays and possible Sunday working as well.
Mill Lane / Bent lane commence mid 2026 for 3 years
River Bollin area commence late 2026 for 3 years
Warburton commence late 2026 for 6 years and 3 months
The hight of the construction to allow the rail viaduct to pass over the canals etc. will be 30 metres from the ground - e.g. higher than the Thelwall viaduct.