National Infrastructure Commission
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High Speed 2 update

On 11 February 2020, the government published the independent Oakervee review of the High Speed 2 rail project and announced plans to proceed with High Speed 2, with construction of Phase 1 from London to the West Midlands set to begin in April.

At the same time, the government announced its intention to draw up an integrated rail plan for the North and Midlands, to identify the most effective sequencing of relevant investments and how to integrate HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and other rail investments.

On 21 February 2020, government published the terms of reference for its integrated rail plan. This plan will be informed by an assessment of the rail needs of the North and the Midlands to be undertaken by the Commission.

The Commission will operate independently, at arms length from government.

Separately from the Commission’s assessment, government is undertaking an exercise to learn lessons from Phase 1 of HS2 to drive down costs.

Our approach

The Commission seeks to operate in an open and transparent manner, building consensus around its recommendations and engaging across parties and with the public, policy-makers, infrastructure experts and relevant bodies.

The Commission are aware of the considerable levels of interest among many stakeholders in these issues. We will develop a structured approach to engagement, across the region; through roundtables on key topics; and through an opportunity for relevant parties to submit written evidence once terms of reference are set.

We will publish regular updates here on our website, including information on opportunities for interested stakeholders to help inform our assessment. The scope and format of such opportunities will be developed over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you would like to be informed about key developments in the Commission’s work on this project, you can sign up by sending an email with “HS2 updates” in the subject line to

Please note: by submitting your email address, you agree to the National Infrastructure Commission using your personal data to send updates on our assessment of the rail needs of the North and the Midlands. Your data will not be used for any other purpose. An option to unsubscribe from future updates will be clearly available on all such communications, or you can email at any time with a request to be removed from the list.


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