Michael Fabricant says: “The Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, has today confirmed in a letter to me that HS2 work around Lichfield will indeed continue in order to provide the link between Birmingham and the existing west coast main line. Nothing has changed south of Handsacre which is all in Phase 1.”
Mark Harper says in his letter: “As you will know, there are spades are in the ground already and we will continue to deliver Phase 1 of HS2 from London to the West Midlands, with branches to central Birmingham and to Handsacre – where HS2 trains for Manchester, Liverpool and Scotland will join the West Coast Main Line.
“This will provide crucial extra capacity alongside the West Coast Main Line, nearly doubling capacity from 134,000 to 250,000 passengers per day across the primary long-distance operator on the West Coast Main Line and Phase 1 thanks to a major upgrade of the Handsacre Junction which will allow more trains to reach key destinations north of Birmingham.
“Journey times from Birmingham to central London will be cut by half an hour, to just 49 minutes. This will also bring London within 2 hours of Manchester” Mark Harper adds.