HS2

'Thousands' employed by new HS2 line

Work on building the HS2 high speed railway between Birmingham and London through Warwickshire is now supporting 9,000 jobs, according to figures released by the company.

HS2 site
HS2

More than 2,000 companies are working at 250 sites across the country to prepare for the start of construction of the line.

Eventually 30,000 people will work on the first phase of the £56bn railway, which is due to open in December 2026, HS2 Ltd said.

HS2 site
BBC

Work is continuing to construct the new Curzon Street station in the centre of Birmingham, which will be linked to the tram network as well as rail networks to the wider West Midlands.

Costs will make HS2 'very difficult' to scrap

It would be difficult to cancel the HS2 project because of the costs involved, the outgoing head of the National Audit Office, Sir Amyas Morse has said.

HS2 plans
PA

The first phase of the high speed rail line will run from London to Birmingham, through Warwickshire, and is scheduled to open in December 2026.

But with warnings that the project could exceed its budget of £56bn, there are growing calls for it to be scrapped.

Speaking to the BBC's Westminster Hour, Sir Aymas suggested the first phase would have to be completed due to the cost and work already incurred.

"There is a point where there's not much point thinking you can go back. Are we at that point on HS2? It's difficult for me to say," he said.

HS2 buys residential properties and land worth £600m

HS2 sign
PA

More than 900 properties worth nearly £600m have been bought by the company responsible for delivering High Speed Rail 2 (HS2), figures show.

They include Whatcroft Hall, sold by comedian John Bishop for £6.8m, the highest price paid for any property.

Campaigners opposed to the rail project said some homeowners had been treated badly, claiming homes were routinely undervalued by HS2.

HS2 said it had to achieve a fair price for both homeowners and taxpayers.

HS2 buys residential properties and land worth £600m

BBC News England

More than 900 properties worth nearly £600m have been bought by the company responsible for delivering High Speed Rail 2 (HS2), figures show.

HS2 sign
PA

The area with the most purchases was Staffordshire with almost 200 and about 120 have been made in Warwickshire.

Campaigners opposed to the rail project said some homeowners had been treated badly, claiming homes were routinely undervalued by HS2.

HS2 said it had to achieve a fair price for both homeowners and taxpayers.

Breakdown on where HS2 bought homes and land
BBC

The £56bn high-speed rail line is designed to boost the UK's economy by cutting journey times between London and the Midlands and the north of England.

The first passenger services are expected to operate between the capital and Birmingham in 2026, with phase two of the project to Manchester and Leeds earmarked for completion by 2034.

'Ive known marriages break up over HS2'
Tracy Stone is disillusioned she lives on a housing estate due to be partially demolished by HS2.