HS2 Timeline

January 2009 The then Labour government established High Speed Two Limited (HS2 Ltd), chaired by Sir David Rowlands, with the remit to examine the case for a new high-speed line and present a potential route between London and the West Midlands.HS2 Ltd would be required to provide advice on options for a new line which would be able to connect to Heathrow, provide access to central London, connect to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1) and the existing rail network.
March 2010 HS2’s report and supporting studies were published, together with a Government Command Paper on high-speed rail. The report indicated a preferred route for the new line, together with other possible routes.
March 2010 – June 2010 Government commenced a consultation on an Exceptional Hardship compensation Scheme (EHS) that in certain circumstances would help those unable to move home as a result of the blight caused by HS2.  HS2AA developed an alternative Property Bond scheme and recommends it to HS2 Ltd, securing 80% support from other consultees .
April 2010 HS2 Action Alliance was formed, as a voluntary national group challenging the case for HS2. HS2AA works closely with the numerous local groups being set up across the country in response to the Government’s announcement on HS2 and AGAHST, the national anti-HS2 coordinating group and STOP HS2, the campaigning group opposing the scheme.
May 2010 The new Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, asked Lord Mawhinney, a former Conservative Transport Secretary, to conduct an urgent review of the proposed route. In opposition the Conservative Party had advocated any new high-speed line be routed via Heathrow Airport, an idea rejected by HS2 Ltd.
July 2010 Lord Mawhinney’s report was released with conclusions, that contradicted the views of the Conservative Party in opposition, with statements that HS2 should not go to Heathrow Airport until the construction of Phase 2 commenced. The new government accepted these conclusions.
July 2010 Philip Hammond announced the EHS compensation arrangements would be introduced in August 2010 (following the consultation) and his intention to also introduce more longer term arrangements if HS2 goes ahead. One of the options for consideration was the Property Bond scheme recommended by HS2AA.
December 2010 The Government published a slightly revised line of route for HS2 for public consultation based on a Y-shaped route from London to Birmingham (Phase 1) with branches to Leeds and Manchester (Phase 2), closely resembling the original route published in March 2010 under the previous government.
February 2011 – July 2011 The Department of Transport undertook a national consultation on high speed rail and chosen route of Stage One of HS2, including the new compensation arrangements. HS2 Action Alliance provided a detailed response to the consultation.
July 2011 HS2AA provided a submission as to the Labour Party’s Policy Review on transport setting out why HS2 is not in the national interest.
September 2011 HS2AA Director Bruce Weston appeared before the House of Commons Transport Select Committee to set out our concerns with the proposals for HS2.
January 2012 The Secretary of State for Transport announced the Government plans to proceed with HS2.
April 2012 HS2 Action Alliance commenced two judicial review proceedings against the Secretary of State for Transport in connection with the lawfulness of her decision to proceed in January 2012 with HS2 – on environmental grounds and on inadequate information being provided on compensation issues.
October 2012 Consultation  on the safeguarding zone for phase 1 began. The consultation closed on 31 January 2013.
October 2012 Public consultation began on compensation arrangements for households and businesses impacted by phase 1. The consultation closed on 31 January 2013.
January 2013 The Secretary of State for Transport announced the initial preferred route for HS2 between the West Midlands and Leeds/Manchester
March 2013 HS2AA won one judicial review against the Government in connection with its handling of compensation for households and businesses impacted by the proposed route. The Government won the other case, concerning the environment, but the matter was referred to the Court of Appeal for further review.
May 2013 Consultation on Environmental Statement for Phase 1.
July 2013 Launch of Phase 2 Route Consultation.

Set out below is our current understanding of how the Government intends to progress the HS2 project. These dates may change and we will update this page on the basis of any further information we receive.

Our hope is that much of it will not happen as the project is cancelled.

End 2013 Introduction of a hybrid bill to provide necessary powers to construct and operate phase 1 of the railway
Late 2014 Government’s announcement of the chosen route for phase 2 (this may be brought forward)
2015 Target date for Royal Assent for the Hybrid Bill, containing legal powers to construct HS2
2017-2025 Construction period (starts and ends at different times and at different points along the route)
2024-2026 Commissioning and testing for phase 1
2026 Phase 1 (London-Birmingham) of HS2 opens to passenger services
2026-2033 Phase 2 construction period (starts and ends at different times and at different points along the route)
2033 Phase 2 (Birmingham-Leeds/Manchester) of HS2 opens to passenger services